By: Gary M. DellaPosta, CPA
This year's tax deadline may have come and gone already but it's never too early to start planning for next year. With that in mind, here are six things you can do now to make next April 15 easier.
1. Adjust your withholding. Why wait another year for a big refund? Now is a good time to review your withholding and make adjustments for next year, especially if you'd prefer more money in each paycheck this year. If you owed at tax time, perhaps you'd like next year's tax payment to be smaller.
2. Store your return in a safe place. Put your 2012 tax return and supporting documents somewhere secure so you'll know exactly where to find them if you receive an IRS notice and need to refer to your return. If it is easy to find, you can also use it as a helpful guide for next year's return.
3. Organize your recordkeeping. Establish a central location where everyone in your household can put tax-related records all year long. Anything from a shoebox to a file cabinet works. Just be consistent to avoid a scramble for misplaced mileage logs or charity receipts come tax time.
4. Review your paycheck. Make sure your employer is properly withholding and reporting retirement account contributions, health insurance payments, charitable payroll deductions and other items. These payroll adjustments can make a big difference on your bottom line. Fixing an error in your paycheck now gets you back on track before it becomes a huge hassle.
5. Consult a tax professional early. If you are planning to use a tax professional to help you strategize, plan and make financial decisions throughout the year, then contact your tax professional. You'll have more time when you're not up against a deadline or anxious for your refund.
6. Prepare to itemize deductions. If your expenses typically fall just below the amount to make itemizing advantageous, a bit of planning to bundle deductions into 2013 may pay off. An early or extra mortgage payment, pre-deadline property tax payments, planned donations or strategically paid medical bills could equal some tax savings.
Each household's financial circumstances are different so it's important to fully consider your specific situation and goals before making large financial decisions.
Gary DellaPosta is a CPA and founder of the firm: Gary M DellaPosta, CPA's & Business Advisors. A graduate of Bryant
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