Tax Prep Made Easy!


 
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Tax day is tomorrow!  

Most likely you’ve been prepping to file for the past few weeks.  You may be like hundreds of other people and you’ve put it off until the last moment and are now scrambling to put all the documentation together to meet the deadline for filing.   You can simplify this process by doing one quick task each month throughout the year with taxes in mind:

January:

If you use a bill pay/account program (I use Quicken) go in and mark the categories you want to be reflected in a tax report at the end of the year.  Ex: Medical, Charities, etc. Some programs pre-select common tax categories but you can go in and mark custom categories. (I mark dining since I can write off a percentage as a work expense).

 

February:

Download an app that tracks mileage (I use MileIQ).  The app provides a detailed report at the end the year that will make filing your mileage for medical and work travel a breeze.  

 

March:  

Paid too much in taxes for last year’s filings? Or, did you receive a really large return?  Consider adjusting your withholding amount to bring balance in your filing.

 

April:

If you have a side business or earn income in some way (Rent your home out on Airbnb for example) create a separate file for those earnings and expenses.  Not sure what you can deduct? Reference Schedule C of the 1040 form.

 

May:

Create a file for charitable receipts. Clean out your garage and closets and make a charitable donation which is a great write off!  

 

June:

Schedule home improvements that improve energy efficiency.  These expenses are tax deductible and sometimes earn additional tax rebates.

 

July:  

Work from home? (IRS pays specific attention to home office deductions).  Check out the link for helpful information and tips: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Work-From-Home%3F-Consider-the-Home-Office-Deduction

 

August:

Moving? If it’s due to a job or business change, save your receipts!  Some of your moving expenses are deductible.

 

September:

Invest in your IRA.  You have until December 31st to fully fund your IRA ($5,500 if you’re under 50 and $6,500 if you are over 50)

 

October:

Download a tax return “checklist”.  Pinterest has some great options.

 

November:

Make sure your CPA has all your pertinent information.  Address, social security number, birthdates for you, your spouse and any dependents you will be claiming.  Make sure they have your banking information as well so your return can be direct deposited.

 

December:

Start to prep your paperwork so as soon as you receive your tax documents (all forms are due to you by Jan 31st).  File taxes early if possible, especially if you are expecting a return. Make your return start working for you ASAP!


 

With a few minutes each month, you can reduce stress and make April a month to look forward to!  

 

If paperwork or small task organization isn’t your thing, Optimal Life Space can help! Our team can help manage your paperwork and tax prep.  Our system and processes free up time so you can focus on living!

 
 
Madison Tucker