Like it or not, tax season is just around the corner.
Time to get out the receipts, statements, calculator, and headache medicine! There are many methods people use to take on this yearly task. Some folks keep their tax related documents filed neatly away, ready to calculate their taxes on their own using a good sharp pencil and an old fashioned IRS form. Some may use one of the newer software choices like Turbo Tax. Some folks are a bit more casual in their approach. Receipts strewn all over the house and car, or maybe stuck in a shoe box. When the time draws near, they take their flurry of paperwork and dump it on the desk of their tax professional, hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.
Whichever style you use for tax time, know that the Internal Revenue Service has announced the opening of the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encourages us taxpayers to use e-file or Free File as the fastest way to get our refunds. The April 15 tax deadline is fixed; but if needed, anyone can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. This request is easily done with Form 4868, which can be filed electronically or on paper. www.irs.gov. Those in the know recommend making an appointment with your tax professional early on before things get booked up at the height of tax season.
Examples of documents to have available when preparing for taxes include: 1099’s, W2’s, escrow papers for purchase, sale, or refinance of any properties, receipts for property taxes, vehicle registration fees, and acknowledgement letters or receipts from donations made to qualified nonprofit organizations. If you aren’t sure what type of write offs you can take, consult your local tax professional, or consult the IRS directly.
If you plan to get married or divorced, sell or buy a house, start a family, or take on any other financially-important event in 2014, it’s best to meet with a professional for some tax planning. (Try to schedule such an appointment well in advance before they book up for tax season.) There are tax implications for these types of events that we should all be aware of.
If you have a retirement plan at work, check with the plan administrator. Maybe you qualify to contribute more to the plan. And! Make sure you are taking advantage of any employer match.
In matters of real estate, the government revises the tax rules fairly often. If you plan to buy or sell a home this year, give us a call ahead of time. We can discuss the things that may affect your tax/financial situation that you should be aware of. We have highly experienced lender partners to assist with any loan questions, or if you need to get prequalified for a loan. Since buying or selling a home is one of the larger transactions we will handle in our lifetimes, it is wise to understand the financial and tax implications! Call email or text us today. We may not be able to avoid tax season, but we can all take steps to make it less stressful.