So it is here – the new year. Hopefully this writing finds you full of the promise this can come with and feeling the strength necessary to make it all come true.
In these parts, it is impossible to move to a new year without feeling like it is time to gear ourselves up for the coming tax season. Now I know few others out there get personally excited by this, but I will be so bold as to say that this is something you should start giving some thought to, as well.
Many of the most important tax forms are required to be mailed to you by the end of this month. This means you will be seeing them hit your mailbox (be it real or electronic) soon and you should have a plan for what to do when this happens. This does not have to be an elaborate scheme, for now you can just gather them in a safe, predetermined place. Have a folder (again, be it real or electronic) where you just put them when they are received. There is rarely anything you have to do with these forms other than look at them, confirm they are reasonable, and turn them over to your tax preparer. Keeping them in one location, though, means you don’t have to scramble through a pile of mail (yep, real or electronic) that has been growing for a couple months to find the forms you need.
And then, of course, you’re going to question whether you really got them all, because you kind of remember possibly getting one that didn’t look exactly like the ones you have now …
Taxes are never really fun. I mean they involve looking at how much money you have paid out to receive things that are not always the most tangible. This makes it really easy to push off for as long as possible. Then they get pushed off and become something that places a time crunch on you, thus becoming even less fun. This means that next year, you’ll be looking forward to it even less …
Hopefully this early in January, though, you are not dreading the process that much yet. Use the current mood to get a head start on things. So you know that place where you’re going to keep all of this information? Put something in there that you know you’re going to need but will not necessarily come via a form in the mail. This way you won’t have to worry about it at the end of March, instead tackling it now when things still feel full of promise.
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To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.