With tax season underway, preparation is key to ensuring your finances are in order before (and after) you file your taxes for the 2016 year. Not being fully prepared for tax filing not only leads to stress and worry, but can also lead to mismanaging your claims and deductions. With that, below are five simple tips that will lead to a stress-free and successful 2017 tax season.
Be Aware of Tax Regulation Updates—Keep up to date on recent updates (big or small) on tax regulations, as filing with old regulations can lead to inaccuracy in filing amounts. Just as you stay up to date on your personal finances with software like Quicken, you should ensure you have the most recent information on tax regulations. You can find the most recent updates on the IRS website linked here.
Determine Changes in Your File Status Ahead of Time—Getting married, having a child, sending children off to college… All of these things (and more) will affect your tax return. Take note of these things before you file, and know that just as they lead to changes in your personal budget, they will also have a significant effect on your tax filing.
Get Organized & Gather Receipts—Having all of your paperwork organized and receipts accessible (large or small) will ensure the most accurate tax filing. To truly maximize your tax return, look through your personal finances over the past year to determine whether you should be itemizing.
Compile List of Income Sources—Review your past year’s budget to properly identify all income sources rather than waiting for all of your tax forms to arrive. Using software like Quicken can ensure you keep all income sources organized throughout the year so you’re ready for tax season.
Consider Making an IRA Contribution—Lastly, consider contributing. Look at your budget and personal finances, and determine the amount you can designate towards your IRA. Also note that you can make a contribution until the tax filing deadline and still have it count for the previous year.
Preparing for filing doesn’t have to be stressful and complicated, as long as you gear up ahead of time and consistently keep an eye on your finances throughout the year. Quicken aims to ease the process by organizing your budget and finances, but the commitment to stay on top of your finances ultimately starts with you!
Amanda Young is the Senior Manager of Email & Direct Mail Marketing at Quicken Inc., the leading personal finance management software that helps you get your finances organized. At Quicken Inc., Amanda provides financial insights for marketing initiatives, as well as develops money management focused campaigns. For more than 30 years, Quicken Inc. has been the trusted financial solution for millions of consumers.