End of year to do list

Dec. 19, 2012 – TaxTalk Blog

It’s that time of year when we review our list and check it twice. Finish decorating for the holidays, try to come up with some doable New Year’s resolutions, organize tax receipts … OK, I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but it is a good time to begin preparing for the inevitable – filing income taxes, that is.

It’s a lot more fun … well, bearable, is more like it … to approach tax time as if it were a game. You can plan, strategize, and even reward yourself for little accomplishments along the way by making the process easier and smoother for yourself and your household. Here are some tips to help put you in the tax spirit:

Keep your receipts together. You can tuck your receipts into a big manila envelope, folder or even a shoebox all year long. Grouping receipts into separate envelopes makes the whole process easier. For example, I keep insulation receipts in one envelope, property-tax payment receipts in another, and so on. You can even scan and organize them in folders on your computer.

Make a list. Most of us have to wait on statements from our bank, mortgage company, W-2s, etc., before filing our tax returns. Let’s see a show of hands … how many of us have gotten a tax statement or W-2 after our tax return was filed? Hmmm? To keep this from happening, simply cross off each statement from your checklist as you get it in. This will eliminate any uncertainties, and speed the filing process.

Take stock of your life. Did your life circumstances change during the year? For example, marriage, divorce, having children, even moving can have an impact on your filing status and withholding. Head down to human resources before the year is over and make sure they have your current information on file.

If you follow these tips, success in filing your taxes will be a lot easier this coming year.

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