This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
As soon as you’ve filed your taxes for one year, it seems like you’re right back to preparing for filing your taxes for the following year. Even if you do take a longer break from thinking about your taxes, you’re still seeing all the tax taken out of your paycheck and paid on your belongings each and every day. So to help you keep as much of that money as you can, it’s important that you take tax preparation seriously. Not only could this save you money, but it could also keep you from getting into legal trouble over your taxes. So to help in all these areas, here are three tips for preparing to do your taxes this year.
Get All The Necessary Documents Together
Before you can either sit down and do your taxes yourself or hand over everything to a tax preparer, you first have to get all the preliminary paperwork complied. If you don’t do this beforehand, it will only serve to prolong the time it takes to complete your taxes and become a much bigger headache for you in the long run. According to Josh Smith, a contributor to USA Today, it’s just as important that you familiarize yourself with the tax forms you’ll be filling out this year and it is getting together all the necessary paperwork to fill out those forms. With this type of preparation, actually doing and filing your taxes will be much easier on you.
Plan For How You’ll Prepare Your Taxes
To help you know how much tax preparation you should be doing on your own, it’s important to have some type of plan in place for how your taxes will be prepared. As part of this, Trent Hamm, a contributor to The Simple Dollar recommends that you decide between doing your taxes yourself or using a tax preparer. If you decide to complete and file your taxes on your own, spend some time figuring out what software you want to use to help you get the job done. And if you decide to use a tax preparer, narrow down your list of who to use and make sure you get on his or her calendar sooner rather than later.
Make Sure You’re Covered With Health Insurance
As part of filing your taxes, you’ll be asked about your health insurance coverage. Now, according to Kelly Anne Smith, a contributor to Bankrate.com, the elimination of the penalty for not having health insurance won’t go into effect until 2020, which means you need to have health insurance this year if you want to avoid paying the penalty. While you won’t necessarily have to send in any physical proof that you’re insured when you file your taxes, it’s a good idea to have this evidence available to you in the event that you get audited or something else of that nature.
To help you breeze through your tax preparation this year, consider using the tips mentioned above.