Tax season can be a stressor and a real headache if you aren’t adequately prepared, and procrastinate to get your filing done. Before you can file your returns, it’s always a good idea to get your files in order beforehand.
Getting your affairs in order before tax season will be much more comfortable and make filing faster in the long run, and who doesn’t want to have an easier time filing taxes? Another bonus is the earlier you file taxes, the earlier you could get a refund if you are eligible.
Figuring out how to prepare your taxes, and keeping ahead of any issues can save you time when it comes to submitting your return to the government. Below you will find five ways to start getting ahead in the preparations for tax season.
- Get Your Information in Order
Taxes are a difficult task. There are dozens of forms to go through, and if you have different sources of income, charitable donations, loans with interest payments, and business deductions, all the paperwork and information become a jumble. It is easy to lose track of your receipts and information that is needed to file your return.
Before you are feeling the pressure of the filing deadline, take time to go through all of the forms and documents you need. Use your last years return to help you sort out the types of forms required, and write down each item and what is needed. As the documents come, you can keep track of what is necessary for your tax return. Being organized helps immensely in being prepared for tax season.
- Look Up Tax Prepares
A great way to be ready and make sure that you are filing your taxes correctly is by having someone help you prepare your taxes. By researching preparers early, you can get the help needed, and secure yourself a spot, especially since many tax preparers can have long waiting lists. Contact us now to prepare yourself for the tax season better.
- Book an Appointment
Once you’ve researched a tax preparer, make sure to book an appointment. The sooner you meet your preparer, the quicker you can begin preparing your taxes. Getting your taxes prepared ahead of time, is something you will want to consider if you are anticipating a refund, the sooner you file your taxes, the quicker you will receive your refund. If you procrastinate on scheduling an appointment with a tax preparer, you potentially might not be able to get in to be seen, and risk not having your taxes done in time for the submission deadline.
- Collect Receipts and Charitable Donation Receipts
Receipts that you need for taxes depends on what you want to claim and if itemizing will produce a greater-write-off than standard tax deductions. If you are itemizing, examples of receipts to collect throughout the year are medical costs not covered by insurance, property, taxes, job-related expenses, and investments. If you have a business, you will have to show your receipts for expenses and bank and credit card statements. If you have made charitable donations throughout the year, you need to have the receipts to acknowledge the contribution from the charity. This is why it’s essential to be organized when it comes to preparing taxes.
- Conclude What to Do with Your Refund Beforehand
If you are anticipating a refund from your taxes, decide before you receive it what you are going to put the return towards. You can use your refund to help in paying down debts, or towards your property taxes, or into savings, such as an education savings account. You do need to make your tax preparer aware of how you would like to receive money from the government, either by cheque or direct deposit.
Taxes can be a lot of work, so starting ahead of time and making sure you are organized and have the correct people helping you in filing your information can take away the headaches that often do come at tax time. We know every year it is coming, so do your prep work, so your tax experience is an easy one this year.