You Just Survived Tax Time, Make Next Year Easier

colorful files

Let’s face it, no one in the United States looks forward to April 15th. Procrastination and poor organization cause the majority of individuals to wait until the last minute for filing their taxes. These people are left rushing to gather up needed documentation, proper forms, ferret out deductions and finish their personal or business taxes just before the midnight deadline. This last minute hustle is not only stressful but also can cause you to miss valuable deductions or even result in costly errors. Rushing through your tax preparation is simply not recommended.

Here are 4 ways you can make next April 15th easier on your time, wallet and psyche.

  1. Organize: Dedicate a drawer for your taxes and taxes only. Make 12 files, one for each month and place each expense receipt, mortgage bill, bank account, all donation receipts and other pieces of financial information into its rightful folder. That will keep everything together, nice and neat, making it easy to do your taxes the next year. If you use a tax preparer or personal accountant, they will be grateful to receive your files in this manner. Thirty minutes is all you should need each month to keep yourself organized.
  2. Set a Budget: Many people don’t equate budgets with taxes but they should. Budgeting helps you to recognize your spending habits, find ways to lower your expenses and optimize your return on investments. If your personal accountant recommends increasing the number of deductions to give you more monthly cash, it is vital that you budget for your tax bill when April 15th comes around next year. The last thing you want is to have the added stress of paying a tax bill you have not properly budgeted for!
  3. Meet with Your Accountant: If you don’t have a personal accountant, get one. Many people don’t realize the value a personal accountant can provide at tax season and throughout the year. Your accountant can help you reduce your tax liability through the recommendation of investments, retirement plan contributions and much more. You don’t turn to your banker to fix your car or your physician to paint your home; you rely on them for their expertise and guidance. An accountant has the expertise you need to build wealth, stay on budget and find the best solutions to limit your taxable income.
  4. Max out Retirement Contributions: One of the reasons that April 15th is tough each year is that we can’t believe the amount of money being paid in taxes. It is particularly difficult when you owe the IRS and have to write a check to go along with your personal tax returns. You can slash your taxable income thereby reducing what you owe to the IRS by contributing to retirement accounts to maximum levels allowed.

Tax time doesn’t have to be painful or costly. Speak with your personal accountant about ways to limit your tax bill, maximize your deductions and prepare for a smooth tax season next year.

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