Although the deadline to file your taxes isn’t until April 15th you should prepare early. Preparing early can alleviate stress and potentially get you more of a tax refund when you file.
Employers are required by law to send out W-2 and 1099 forms by January 31st of each year. Take the next few weeks to organize your tax documents to make it easier when you do decide to file.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the past few years that save me time and help maximize my tax return:
- Make a list. Make a list of any anticipated deductions you had over the past year and would like to discuss with your accountant. Try to be as through as possible. Review these deductions with your accountant. If you have a good accountant he or she may find deductions you may have overlooked.
- Gather all documentation. Find relevant documentation of anticipated deductions and place them in a manila envelope, separated by paper clips. Relevant documentation may be receipts, W-2 forms, interest payment statements, etc. Your accountant will love you for being so organized!
- Use your bank to your advantage. Some banks have an “end-of-year statement” listing all of your purchases in specific categories like home, food, and car expenses over the previous year. Use these statements to save even more time when organizing your tax documents.
- Get documents early online. Some companies allow you to get your W-2 forms or interest payment statements online. This means the statements may be available earlier than January 31st.
- Spend wisely. Use your tax return wisely if you are entitled to one. Some may see income tax time as a spending holiday, but it would be wise to budget this money and pay down any debt you may have before blowing through your refund. Think of you refund money as a bonus. Divide your money between spending as you choose, saving, and paying down debt.
I hope these tips help you as much as they help me each year.
Do you have any specific tax refund tips? Comment below and share them with us!
In addition to working as a RN, Nachole Johnson is a freelance copywriter and an author with her first book, You’re a Nurse and Want to Start Your Own Business? The Complete Guide, available on Amazon. Visit her ReNursing blog at http://renursing.wordpress.com.