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Seven Tips for Early Tax Preparation in 2013

May 2, 2012

The tax deadline may have just passed, but preparing for next year can start right away. Being organized and planning ahead can save you time, money, and the stress associated with scurrying to get organized at the last minute. The following are seven tips offered by the IRS to get you going with your 2013 planning efforts:

Adjust Your Withholding — Why wait another year for a big refund? Now is a good time to review your withholding and make adjustments for next year, especially if you'd prefer more money in each paycheck this year. If you owed at tax time, perhaps you'd like next year's tax payment to be smaller. Contact our office for help calculating your withholding.

Store Your Tax Return in a Secure Location — Put your current tax return and supporting documents somewhere secure so you'll know exactly where to find them should you receive an IRS notice. This will also allow you to easily access your return and use it as a helpful guide for next year.

Organize Recordkeeping — Establish a central location where everyone in your household can put tax-related records all year long. Be consistent to avoid a scramble for misplaced mileage logs or charity receipts come tax time.

Review Your Paychecks — Make sure your employer is properly withholding and reporting retirement account contributions, health insurance payments, charitable payroll deductions, and other items. These payroll adjustments can make a big difference on your bottom line. Fixing an error on your paycheck now helps you avoid hassles later.

Prepare to Itemize Deductions — If your expenses typically fall just below the amount to make itemizing advantageous, a bit of planning to bundle deductions into 2012 may pay off. For example, an early or extra mortgage payment, pre-deadline property tax payments, or planned donations could equal some extra tax savings.

Strategize Tuition Payments — The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which offsets higher education expenses, is set to expire after 2012. It may be beneficial to pay 2013 tuition in 2012 to take full advantage of this tax credit, up to $2,500, before it expires.

Stay Apprised of Changes — Find out about tax law changes, helpful tips, and IRS announcements during the year by subscribing to IRS Tax Tips through www.irs.gov or IRS2Go (the IRS’s mobile app). The IRS issues tips regularly during summer and tax season. Special Edition tips are sent periodically for other timely updates.

Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.

   

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