Well, this is about it. By this time next week, it will be Christmas and a week after that brings us to New Year’s Day. Well goodbye 2019, you were an interesting one.
This means that there isn’t much left to do when it comes to your 2019 financial year. There are a few things to watch out for, though. For instance, a few weeks ago I wrote about charitable contributions, and if you are in a position where another deduction can do your tax picture good, you can still do that. Even if you’re not in a position where it will do your tax picture good, remember it will still do good for others.
Beyond that, I write often about scams and they do start to ramp up at the beginning of the year. The more taxes (and their inherent fears) are on people’s minds, the easier it is for scammers to play off them. So keep that in mind if you run into something that sounds fishy over the next couple of months.
And no one really wants to think TOO much about taxes yet, but it is time for you to start moving them up in your mind’s catalog a little bit. People don’t like thinking about taxes, because they aren’t fun, but giving them a little thought now can help spread out their pain. The pain intensifies if you don’t start preparing until the day before you have a meeting to prepare your return.
Most everyone will have a little extra time off over the next couple of weeks and I fully support spending most of it with the people you love. Once you get enough of them, though, maybe you have a couple hours that you don’t know what to do with.
Well first, take a nap. Naps are beautiful.
But when you wake up, you can do yourself some good by getting some financial documents in order. I’m not going to go into huge detail here about what you may need to prepare a full tax return (but fear not, I’m sure much more will be spoken of that in this space in the coming months). Instead, let’s institute a simple rule. If you needed it last year, you’ll need it this year.
So gather those things you needed for last year’s tax return that you already have. Beyond that, make a list of what you do not have yet. There will be some December statements that you won’t get for a few weeks and most of the tax forms you need will start arriving later in January. Putting a checklist of what you know you are expecting with what you already have will let you know when you are ready go make your appointment to prepare your return.
And wouldn’t it be great to get it out of the way as soon as possible?
We promise that we’re ready to see you when you’re ready. Consider us the family you see after the holidays.
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