You have officially made it to 2023, give yourselves a pat on the back.
Okay, that’s enough. Now it is time to get deep into the tax weeds for the new four months or so.
I understand that it feels early to do this – and it is. You don’t really need to hunker down now and turn great deals of your attention to your tax return to have it done in time. There are simple, non-time-consuming things that you can do, however, which will make these coming months easier.
For instance, it is very possible that you have already received some documentation you will need for your return. Handle these now however you planned to handle them when it is time to move forward. Do you have a folder you put them all in? Do you upload them to a computer folder? Do you scan ones received in the mail? Whatever the answer, doing that now is better than keeping them in a giant pile of mail or letting a notice fall ever deeper into your email inbox. For do you know which pieces are going to be the toughest to track down if you wait a few months? Yes, the earliest ones received.
Businesses can probably do even more to get themselves ready for taxes early in the season. For just where does your bookkeeping stand? If that is something you don’t do on the regular, then now it is time to start catching up. Even if it is not the hugest task, December has passed, you can get your bank statements, you can make sure it is complete and not worry about it anymore. And again, where do you keep all your paperwork? Are those statements and all your receipts in their final spot so that you’re ready to move forward?
A lot of these things feel small, and that is a big part of the reason why they are very easy to put off. Even if your preparation for a tax return involves only getting together a dozen pieces of paper, it can become very aggravating to try to find them all on April 1. Simple steps will lead to less frustration.
And beyond that, those simple steps will alert you to potential issues when there is still time to do something about it and fix it without significant added stress. So even if we are all still a bit in holiday mode, let’s wake up enough to do these small bits now before we get into the big ones later.
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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.