April is right around the corner, and that means it’s almost time to file your taxes. You might be feeling a little stressed out. You’re not alone. For many Americans, tax season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Filing tax returns can be time-consuming and complicated. You may be worried about minimizing your bill or maximizing your refund.
Filing taxes doesn’t have to be stressful. There are steps you can take to simplify the process. A little bit of planning and organization can go a long way toward making your tax experience as painless as possible. Below are a few tips to help you reduce your tax-related stress and to make filling out your returns less daunting:
Collect your paperwork.
A lot of stress can be eliminated simply by gathering all the information you need. You will likely need documents such as earnings reports from your employer and statements for your bank accounts, investment accounts and even some types of debt.
Some people have a tendency to wait until the last minute to pull this information together. However, there’s no time like the present. You should start receiving much of this information in the mail through the early part of the year. If you don’t, contact the administrator of the accounts for which you haven’t received tax documents. They should be able to help you pull together everything you need.
Consider getting help from a pro.
There’s no shortage of tax software available to help you do your taxes on your own. If your tax situation is straightforward, doing it yourself may be the best option. If you have complicated tax issues, however, you may be better served by visiting a tax professional.
For example, business owners often face tax challenges that are somewhat complex. If you got married or divorced in the past year, your tax situation may be complicated. Or you may simply feel overwhelmed trying to do it yourself. If so, see a tax professional before you spend too much of your own time on the effort.
Evaluate your spending.
It’s always a good idea to regularly review your expenses and your budget. However, it can be especially helpful during tax time. There are some expenses that you may be able to deduct. For example, costs related to child care, medical care, home improvements and more may be deductible. If you’re unsure whether something can be deducted, contact a tax professional, who will be able to help you through the process.
Look for other deduction opportunities.
Just because 2016 is over doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of 2016 deduction opportunities. In fact, some deductions are available all the way up to April 15. For example, you can take deductions for contributions to a traditional IRA, a health savings account (HSA) and even some 529 plans. Again, a tax professional can help you decide which deduction opportunities are right for you.
Need help organizing your financial picture as you prepare for tax season? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Intelliplan Financial. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
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