Tax Season comes around every year, yet people still always scramble come mid-February when filing has taken way like they had no idea it was coming. This tax season, that won’t be you. Follow our simple steps for preparing to file taxes - what to do before you file for an easier experience while filing.
First and foremost, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your tax preparer, whoever it may be. If you don’t have a tax preparer, reference our blog on how to find a reputable tax preparer you can trust. Once your appointment is scheduled, it’s time to turn to your important documents. This includes any documents that track your income, personal information, banking information, and records of any purchases.
As you receive your W-2 from your employer(s), set them aside with your other tax documents. This document is vital for tracking your income, tax withholding, and any earned income credit. It breaks down all the nitty gritty money numbers for your tax preparer and the IRS. There are various other 1099 forms you may receive depending on your line of work or how you made the money, like a 1099-MISC for those who freelance.
If you are a small business owner, it is essential that all W-2s are issued by the new year, forms 940 and 941 have been filed (any business that has employees needs to file these), and forms 1099 and 1096 have provided to any independent contractors you paid more than $600 over the course of the year.
Start researching which deductions you apply for and itemize your deductions with evidence, which usually comes in the form of a receipt or official document that lists the product, service, or donation and the amount spent. You may be pulling out documents left and right that range from childcare expenses or interest on student loans, and work-related expenses to real estate records. It is up to your tax preparer to ensure you have all the needed documentation to itemize your deductions, but it never hurts to start a pile.
You will need all of your personal information to file your taxes, including your social security number, birth date, and the information of your spouse (if you are filing for him/her) and any dependants. A copy of last year’s tax documents will help you accurately complete your tax forms, as well.
Don’t allow time to wind down and stress to build, prepare for tax season now so you can thank yourself later. If you would like professional references to tax preparers we know and trust, contact us today.