The holidays are over and the beginning of a new year brings on the dreaded tax season. You may have put it out of your mind so you could enjoy the holidays, but it’s time to get back into business mode – the tax-filing deadline will sneak up on you almost before you know it.
The good news is that with our tips, you no longer have to dread tax season!
Get Started Sooner Rather Than Later
Getting started as soon as possible – as in, now – is especially critical if you “outsource” your taxes to H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, your personal accountant, etc. The longer you wait, the busier those services will be; the downside, of course, will be waiting longer, but it could be worse – they could be distracted by their heavy workload, miss possible deductions, and potentially reduce the size of your refund.
Get your taxes filed in January or February and sit back, relaxed, while everyone else starts sweating around mid-March.
Prepare the Appropriate Documentation
The documents you’ll need when filing your taxes vary considerably based on your circumstances. A comprehensive list of your documentation needs can be found here.
And we’ve said this in previous tax blogs, and we’ll likely say it again, but it bears repeating here, too – go to the link, figure out the tax documents you need and what information you need to fill them out, and start collecting that information for 2018 NOW. Next year, you’ll be glad you did.
Verify Your Filing Deadlines
While the typical deadline for filing taxes is April 15th, the 2018 deadline has been extended to April 18th due to factors like weekends and holidays.
Depending on your circumstances, there may be other deadlines to keep in mind. For example, if you own a business, you’re responsible for providing your employees with their W-2 and 1099 forms by January 31st – a full month earlier than last year’s tax season.
Be Mindful of Law Changes
Naturally, it’s impossible to know every tax law, but it’s a good idea to keep track of significant changes. For example, it’s important to know that the IRS has increased penalties for businesses who fail to meet the new January 31st deadline for W-2 and 1099 forms.
The Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, is another area that has seen changes recently, including one where you can be fined for not having health insurance. A good reference for other significant changes can be found here.
Don’t let tax season get you down. If you prepare appropriately and follow our tips, tax season should come and go with little stress to you. And there’s more good news – we’re always available to answer questions and are prepared to help you through this year’s tax season. With over a decade of experience in advising individuals and business owners in financial matters, you can put your trust in Holdfast Wealth. Contact us for more information.