Tax Season is Over: How to Prepare for the Next Tax Year
Tax season has come and gone this year. While it might be tempting not to think about taxes for the next several months, there is no question that a little bit of extra planning for the coming tax year can save you a little time and a lot of hassle. Here are some of the simplest ways to get ready for next year’s taxes and a few easy ways to manage your finances that could help you all year.
Maintain a system.
Remaining organized year-round will help you a lot, come tax time. If you are tech-savvy, you may choose to use tools such as digital vaults, smartphone apps or accounting software. If you are more old-school, you may prefer envelope systems, boxes or spreadsheets. Whatever your preference, now is the time to start getting organized so you are not pressured at the last moment. Pick a system that works for you and stick to it.
Talk to your CPA.
Once things calm down, talk to your CPA about the specifics of your tax return and things for which you need to be prepared in the coming year. Write down a list of questions you may have for him or her. On the other hand, if you were not happy with the job your accountant did for you this year, this is the time to look around for a new accountant who would be a better fit for your needs.
Review your information.
Now might be the time to look at how much you contribute toward your retirement and making sure your employer is withholding the right amounts from your paycheck. If the withholding amount is more, be sure to make the adjustments right now so you don’t have to pay more taxes when next year rolls around. Ask your CPA if you are putting away sufficient retirement savings to offset your tax burden.
Create an IRS.gov account.
This allows you to download a transcript on all your tax transactions, tax return information or income details for a particular tax year. For example, the website has a “Where’s My Return?” feature for tax refunds. It might be a lot easier to access these and other features after the tax season than during. You may also be able to reach technical support with greater ease to get your questions answered.
Have a plan for estimated taxes.
If you are self-employed or don’t do withholdings, you will need to pay quarterly estimated taxes. When you stay on top of your estimated taxes, it could be much more painless way of completing your tax payments instead of looking a one large amount at the end of the year. The IRS website should have all the information you need including the estimated tax worksheet, tax rate scheduled and the Form 1040-ES.
Filing taxes might never be a pleasurable experience. But, with this little bit of planning and anticipation, you can do your part to make sure the experience is not a painful one. If you are overwhelmed by your taxes or saddled with tax debt, our experienced Florida tax attorneys can help you better understand your options. Call us for a free consultation today.