It’s tax season, which means it’s time to prepare your paperwork, and yourself, to pay your taxes. To help you prepare for the project ahead, we invite you to follow these techniques to help make life run a little smoother and lower stress.
First, designate a physical location in your home to collect all your paperwork arriving through the postal service. Corralling the pages upon their delivery eliminates the hassle of locating missing items in the future when strewn around. If you receive these forms electronically, make a dedicated folder on your computer specifically for storing these items to be easily found and accessible when you need them. Consider tax time as the perfect time to finally make the final jump to go paperless and have all your paperwork made available online.
Once you’ve chosen your tax preparer, book an appointment if you would like to review your return before it’s filed. Immediately get enrolled in your preparer’s document portal and upload your documents as you receive them rather than all at once. This process gives you another layer of security from misplaced items. Be smart about it; never email documents that include your Social Security number or bank account information.
Are you looking for a new preparer for 2021? Expect difficulty in finding availability across the nation. Overwhelmed with mounds of tax law changes, various tax credits, and ongoing staffing shortages, many professional accounting/tax preparation firms extend clients’ tax returns. Clear communication is key to ensuring a proper tax return filing. Too frequently, a rushed filing requires filing an amended tax return, thus incurring more fees and headaches.
Speak with your registered investment advisor (RIA) to give authorization and make arrangements to provide your tax forms directly to your CPA. This permission helps to cut yourself out as the middleman and ensures your CPA will receive all the documents they need rather than rely on guesswork.
If you’re using the same preparer as prior years, ask for a tax organizer based on your prior-year return amounts. Skip any empty packets; they are not helpful and too overwhelming! Use this prefilled planner as a checklist to check off items as they arrive.
If you expect to make a large 2021 tax extension payment or a first quarter estimated tax payment, identify opportunities now that will help you raise the cash you need before the due date of April 18th. Ideas include utilizing a bonus payment, taking your annual IRA RMA distribution, or liquidating investment holdings.
The payment due dates are just a few weeks away and will come sooner than you think, so it’s best to get prepared now.
Do you consistently find yourself in a time crunch to make last-minute payments? The easiest and safest way to make these payments is to sign up for the payment portal of IRS.gov and your state revenue site in order to make these payments online. The IRS is more than happy to accept your electronic payment. Plus, making your tax payments online provides a record should you ever need to prove your payments were made timely.
You’ll also save yourself the hassle of the USPS mail system and monitoring to ensure your payment clears the bank. Making a tax payment online is instant, and you receive immediate confirmation. Making online payments is the fastest and easiest way to pay all your tax obligations.
By preparing yourself for this tax season, both your paperwork and your payments, you’ll set yourself up for a smooth ride when filing your tax return. With a little effort, you’ll avoid a more significant headache down the road.
Corralling, capturing, and collating tax records is our specialty. Organized Instincts provides an excellent resource for the overwhelmed—and undermanned—taxpayer who simply wants their taxes to be considerably less taxing. Schedule a free consultation with us today.