It’s hard to believe it but it’s already time to start thinking of tax time. As Meryl Streep once said, “Start by starting.” The best way to get started is simply by starting! Be proactive this tax season, know what you need to do, do your research, and stay in the know.
Make a plan.
As with any project, a plan is a must! Determine the steps necessary for a successful tax season (don’t worry, we share some below). Once you create your plan, stick to it.
Know personal information.
Make sure you know all personal information for yourself and any minors you may be filing for. This includes their full legal name, Social Security number, birth date, and home address. If you need to hunt down Social Security cards to confirm numbers, do that early so you’re ready to go when your forms arrive and can start filing.
Determine how you will file.
Will you be filing yourself using a program or will you be reaching out to a professional? From there, you need to determine which tax software you’ll use or which professional you’ll work with. This leads us to our next tip…
Do your research.
Before jumping into the first program or professional you find, do your research and take notes to determine what might be best for you. There are many options out there, not all of them reputable and trustworthy. Start your research early so you can take the time to compare options, talk with professionals, or test out free trials for software.
Begin collecting income documents.
Once you’ve put together a plan, gathered important information, determined how you will file, and did any research necessary, it’s time to start collecting tax documents! Employers and companies are required to send out documents by January 31.
Stay in the know.
During your research, check to see if there are any changes to the forms this year or any specific updates that might impact your filing.