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How To Survive the 2019 Tax Season

CFP Financial Advisor Financial Planning RIA Tax Planning Taxes February 5, 2019 Author: Deborah Doyle
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Tax prep is not something many people associate with joy or excitement but it is something that individuals and businesses must prepare for each year. Due to the recent 2019 tax overhaul, many people are even more worried and anxiety ridden about their tax returns. By being proactive, knowledgeable and prepared here are a few tips for surviving the daunting time known as tax season.

  1. Get started early: Taxes aren’t due until April 15th, however, preparing ahead of time can allow for a smoother process. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can locate key documents, find missing ones and clarify any confusion regarding rules before filing. The sooner and more accurately you file, the sooner you can receive your tax return—while alternatively devise a plan to pay any money you may owe the IRS.
  2. Make a Check List: Keeping track of the key documents needed, their purpose and tracking the progress allows for more accuracy. There are various important documents needed for tax-filing and missing one could arise inaccurate returns and a bigger headache down the line. Employers are required to send out W-2s by January 31st so be on the lookout if you haven’t received yours yet. 1099s are another form that will list your any income above $600 received.
  3. Standard Deduction or Itemization: Majority of tax payers have chosen to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing on their returns due to the high level of tax savings. The new tax rules have caused the standard deduction to be even more appealing with the increase in deductions. Determining early on which route you will take can help. If you decide to itemize your return, you are going to need even more documentation. Be mindful to keep track and add the required documents to your checklist.
  4. Deciding on who will do the filing: Depending on your tax situation and level of complexity, it may be beneficial to file your taxes by yourself, especially if your file electronically. The software available today, allows for you file and steer clear of potential mistakes. On the other hand, if you plan to itemize this year or have any confusion about the new tax laws, it might make more sense to hire a tax professional and avoid any mistakes.

Let’s face it, taxes are far from fun but don’t necessarily have to be a painful task. Following these steps and taking the necessary precautions call allow for a happy 2019 tax season!

 

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