Getting Prepared For Tax Season

For the past thirteen years of my life, I have always had a “start of tax season countdown”.  While some business taxes can start being prepared starting in mid-January, the real crunch in my mind doesn’t begin until a few weeks later.  My personal “countdown” starts February 1st and ends the morning after the Super Bowl.  By this time most people have their W-2s or 1099s and are officially ready to start thinking about their refunds and filing their taxes.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, it seems like this year has been relatively quiet on the news front, except for the obvious Patriots/Roger Goodell/Deflate-gate issues.  No matter how you feel about all of this, as a football fan you have to be impressed with the Patriots.  The league suspended their legendary quarterback, Tom Brady, for the first four games of the season and it didn’t matter.  In addition to this, their star play-maker, Rob Gronkowski, played in only eight games this season and it didn’t matter.  When it was all said and done, the Patriots had the best record in the league and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Since we have some important tax items to discuss, I am going to cut short all of my thoughts on Sunday’s big game and give you my prediction (just so everyone knows I am writing this article at 8:00 AM on February 3rd).  I think the Falcons are going to keep it close for the entire game because of their explosive offense.  However, when it comes down to it, I pick the best quarterback and coach to win in big games.  Final prediction – Patriots 31, Falcons 27.

Back to the real issue at hand – tax season.  Most people out there loathe the thought of getting organized for their taxes.  I can definitely understand this, so here are a few easy tips that will help you get organized and beat the tax filing rush:

  • Designate somewhere in your house to store all of your tax documents. Get a bin, folder, etc and write “2016 Taxes” directly on all documents.  Then put it on a desk so you see it at some point every day.
  • As you receive official tax documents in the mail, immediately file them away. Grab any receipts you think might be deductible and file them away also.  If you aren’t exactly sure you need the document, put in there anyway.  As a tax preparer myself, my motto is that I would rather my clients send me too many tax documents than not enough!
  • Give your tax preparer a call and do a quick review of your prior year taxes. He or she will direct you to gather items that you do not receive in the mail so you don’t miss any deductions.
  • In addition to this, talk to your tax preparer about any life changing events that happened, such as getting married, having a child, buying/selling your house, etc. By knowing this upfront, your tax preparer will be able to give you actionable tax advice that could increase your refund.
  • Once you believe you have gathered everything you need, send it to your tax preparer immediately. The longer you wait, the further back you fall in line to get your taxes done and your refund in your bank account.

If you have any specific questions on this or other tax-related questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly. If you still need someone to prepare your taxes for this year, shoot me a message. We would love to earn your business.