This post was sponsored by #BlockAdvisors. All opinions are our own.
As the close of the 2015 tax season rapidly approaches, it is not the time to sit back and do nothing until next year. There are plenty of tasks you can start on to make next year’s tax season flow even smoother. Here are some ideas of how to wrap up your tax season and get a jump on next year.
1 Work with Your Tax Preparer
Maintain a good relationship all year long with the person who prepares your taxes, like the tax professionals at BlockAdvisors.
Your tax preparer should know your history well enough to contact you early in the year if there are going to be changes that could affect how you conduct your business the rest of the year, or after completing your tax return from the prior year. Don’t wait until next year to find out new tax laws mean you will owe money to the IRS when you counted on a refund, for example. By knowing in advance, you could set aside money in preparation to pay in. If your accountant or tax professional hasn’t let you know of the current changes, be proactive and contact them first!
2 Save Your Refund
If you were fortunate enough to receive a refund for the 2015 tax year, consider banking it in an interest bearing account instead of spending it. This is an especially good idea if your business is volatile and you don’t know if you will be receiving a refund next year, or paying in. Build a little cushion to ease your stress somewhat.
3 Keep Documents Organized
Don’t be one of those people who throws everything in a box or in the corner until next year, and then scrambles to find what’s needed in order to file your taxes at the last possible minute. This creates extra stress for everyone involved and it doesn’t need to be that way.
Set up a filing system if you don’t already have one. If, however, you do already have a filing system, maybe it’s time to review it. There could be old files you no longer need. If so, dispose of them appropriately. Keep your tax documents separated by year in a rotating file so you can easily shred the oldest one and place the most recent file in the front. I keep mine in a manila folder with the words, “2015 Taxes” on the front so things are easy to find when I need to refer back to them.
You should also invest in a shredder and place it nearby. You don’t want to throw tax documents into the trash where someone could use them to steal your identity, so run them through a crosscut shredder instead. Everything you intend to keep should be stored in a secure place and not where prying eyes could be tempted to use any information for criminal purposes.
File receipts and expenses where they belong right away so you can easily retrieve them later if you need to. Both you and your tax preparer will be glad you did!
4 Plan to File Early
Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to get your taxes filed early. By starting your preparations on the tail of the current tax year, you could end up saving yourself from tax identity theft. Another reason is, of course, simply to get your refund as soon as possible – that is, if you are due one, or if you owe into the IRS you will have more time to work with your tax advisor to come up with a plan to pay your tax bill.
I hope the ideas we’ve discussed should help you get ahead of the game for next year’s tax season so you can breathe a little easier in the months to come. You can also connect with a Tax Advisor from Block Advisors to make your taxes easier next year. Now, don’t you feel relieved already?