With tax season officially over, many taxpayers and small business owners may find themselves stretching to relax. For many, it was a frenetic race to gather up documents, make sense of them, and meet looming deadlines. At Stride, we worked extra hard to make sure our clients’ needs were met. You may be thinking, “I have another 12 months before I have to do this again.” But as tax professionals, we urge you to start now to be proactive and prepared for next year.
Stay Organized. While it’s tempting to shrug things off, now’s the perfect time to jumpstart your organizational skills. It’ll save you the headache of frantically searching for documents next year.
File – Create a folder where you toss receipts and other tax documents in it. Keep it all in one place.
Document – While it’s tempting to push a receipt or document to “file later,” label your receipts immediately so you know what they’re for, particularly business receipts. Make a habit of writing on the receipts in the restaurant or when you get home. You don’t want to play the guessing game later on.
Enter Data – If you’re a business owner, entering tax-related transactions directly in your accounting software as they occur will save you time in the long run.
Make Adjustments. Be aware of how much you’re paying in taxes. Is it enough, too little, or too much? If you paid throughout the year, and did not receive a refund, you paid just right. If you owed a lot or got a big refund, you need to adjust your withholdings or set-up installments.
Adjust Your Withholdings – Use a tax calculator on the IRS website to help you figure out exactly what your withholdings should be. This is especially important if anything has changed in terms of marital status, kids, etc.
Set-Up Installments – If you work for yourself, and found you struggled to pay your tax bill on the due date, you may need to request and submit an Installment Agreement Request form. Was this a one-time situation or something habitual? If it’s something that happens on a consistent basis, consider adjusting your withholding or augment your estimated tax payments to cover your liabilities.
Monitor Tax Law Changes. Know the rules of the game. Tax law seems to change so frequently, but if you pay attention, you may pick up on new tax laws that could affect your financial situation. When in doubt, contact your tax professional to assess your options.
Follow Stride– Not sure how to keep abreast of changes in tax laws? Follow our blog here. We will be sure to keep you informed throughout the year!
Through staying organized, adaptable, and up-to-date with major tax news, you’ll be able to navigate next Tax Season more efficiently.