Taxes can seem like an impossible task for many, especially if you’re doing them yourself for the first time. As a result, your tax preparation in Dubuque, Iowa may seem more complicated than it is in reality. And you can quickly learn how to perform this prep in ways that benefit you. So please reach out to us at Buchheit Tax to learn more. Our professionals have years of experience helping people like you and will work hard to ensure that you fully understand how to manage your tax needs properly.
Collect Your Information Way Ahead of Time
When April 14 rolls around, you may end up frantically digging around for your returns, your receipts, and all of your financial information. Then, you might make easy mistakes on your returns because you’re so busy focusing on getting them done correctly that you can’t pay proper attention. This problem is one that you so often see from those who don’t take their tax preparation seriously enough.
Instead of scrambling, place all of your receipts in one place every year and arrange them by date. And once you get your tax papers back from your employers, put them somewhere that is easy to find and access. Now, all of your information is ready for when you want to file. Make sure to use manila folders and other sorting methods to ensure that you can handle this demand as correctly as possible.
Should you start doing your taxes the moment you get these papers? Many people will simply get it out of the way. But don’t rush it! If you’re not mentally prepared for the preparation, wait a few weeks or so. And if you have to pay in again, make sure that you prepare your taxes to get an idea of what you have to pay and then get ready to pay. Just getting it over with is a much better idea for you.
Use Past Filings as a Guide
If you’re smart about your tax preparation, you probably already have your filings from previous years lying somewhere near you. Many people take this route because they know they can use this information to help with their current tax filings. However, you may find that you don’t have this information on hand and feel that you need to use it to help yourself out in some way, shape, or form.
Never fear! Instead, seek out your nearest IRS Information Office and visit them. You probably have to make an appointment ahead of time – though this step is rarely a problem during tax season – to meet with a professional. They will have easy access to databases that contain your past filings. They can then print them out for you to make them easier to use for this year’s filing.
Look through all of your interest, dividends, carry-loss and carry-forward balances, and deductions that you may have used last year. Please pay attention to these facets because they can provide you with a greater insight into your overall filing. And in some cases, you may be able to use this information to carry over to your current filing. This step ensures that you get the best tax return possible for your needs.
Don’t Forget Your IRA and SEP Funds
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when handling their tax preparation is to ignore their IRA and SEP retirement plans. That’s because they don’t realize that these are deductible in their taxes, particularly when paying for a paired business plan. These funds are all considered sheltered from tax purposes and are a great write-off that you can use to save yourself good money every year.
Here’s an interesting hack that many may not realize – you can still fund an IRA for tax purposes up to April 15. So you can contribute a good amount of money, depending on your age and how much you’ve spent in the previous year. Those under 50 who have fled less than $6,000 the last year can pay up to April 15, while those over 50 who paid less than $7,000 can also pay.
Self-employed individuals can use a SEP in the same way. However, you need to make sure that you contribute up to 25 percent of your self-employment income. The reason you add that much is because that is about how much you’ll be asked to pay in your standard taxes before you do any write-offs or other tax steps. Thankfully, you can save even more if you follow these steps smartly.
Start Preparing for Next Year
Here’s a fun tax preparation tip that may get you a little confused – you should start getting ready for next year the moment you send in the current form. That might seem a bit too forward-thinking. However, it is a smart choice that helps to make it easier for you to manage this problem. For example, you can tweak your withholding allowance a little to decrease the amount of your tax return.
But don’t you want as big of a tax return as possible? Not necessarily. Remember – the return that you’re getting is money that you paid into the system. It would be much easier to decrease your allowances, get the money that you’re paid when you’re paid, and not have to wait until May or June to get a refund check. You’ll still get the money but won’t have to go through so much work for it.
You can also take the opposite approach if you find it hard to pay in at the end of the year. Some people don’t save the money that they need and end up having to pay every year. Instead of suffering this fate, you can tweak your allowances to pay in more. In this way, you might have less cash to spend during the year but don’t have to pay in and scramble to find the money.
Don’t Let Tax Mistakes Mess You Up
As you can see, tax preparation in Dubuque, Iowa is nowhere near as challenging as you may have thought. However, you may still make mistakes when filing that could be a real issue. As a result, it is essential to reach out to professionals who can, at the very least, double-check your work. Often, they will charge you very little for this service. So please reach out to us at Buchheit Tax to learn more about how we can help you. Our professionals have years of experience and know how to make your taxes as smooth and as easy as possible for your needs.