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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easy Ways to Stay on Top of Tax Season

Once again, it’s that time of the year. No, I’m not talking about Easter. And yes, Valentine’s Day has passed. April 15 is approaching us all. It’s tax season. By now, most of you have received W-2s, 1099s and other things that relate to tax. While the tax laws may seem to change all the time, here are some tips that can help you prepare for tax season that don’t need to change all the time.

1.) Gather and Organize Your Receipts: Those charitable contributions can add up. Your business expenses can add up, too. Develop a habit of putting your business receipts in a section of your wallet or purse until you get back to the office. Then, you can easily make notes about each expense and place the receipts in the appropriate file.

2.) Make a List of Your Income Sources: Instead of waiting for all those W-2s, make a list of your income sources. You can then check off each source as you receive the appropriate form.

3.) Find a Tax Professional: Everyone should seriously consider hiring a tax professional. While everyone might not need to hire someone to prepare his or her tax return, consider the complexity of the tax codes (state and federal). A tax professional will help you with organization and answer your tax questions.

4.) Keep Copies of Your Tax Returns: The Internal Revenue Code requires every taxpayer to keep a copy of his or her tax return. Having a copy will also come in handy should you ever come under audit.

5.) Make a Contribution to an IRA: We all know that saving for retirement is important, so don’t procrastinate. Make those contributions. Not only will you be saving for your future, you just may be able to take a deduction.

For other important tax tips, visit the Society of Certified Senior Advisors recent educational webinar, American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA).

Blog posting courtesy of Victoria S. Byerly

Victoria S. Byerly
Parr Byerly, PLLC
(360) 357-3036