Today's blog is a guest post from Ktasha Hardge from Hardge Connections, LLC. Ktasha ("Tasha") Hardge is a Small Business Specialist and Tax Professional with 20 years of experience. To her clients, she is known as the "Tax-Slashing" "IRS-Slaying" "Expense-Finding" Superhero. She has helped, and continues to help thousands of Individuals and Small Business Owners across the U.S. to keep more of what they earn.
This year's tax deadline may have come and gone already but it's never too early to start planning for next year. With that in mind, here are six things you can do now to make next April 15 easier.
1. Adjust Your Withholding
Why wait another year for a big refund? Now is a good time to review your withholding and make adjustments for next year, especially if you'd prefer more money in each paycheck this year. If you owed at tax time, perhaps you'd like next year's tax payment to be smaller. You may even want to pay Quarterly Estimated Taxes to help cushion the blow.
2. Store Your Return in a Safe Place
Put your 2012 tax return and supporting documents somewhere secure so you'll know exactly where to find them if you receive an IRS notice and need to refer to your return. Make use of online secure space like Dropbox. If it is easy to find, you can also use it as a helpful guide for next year's return.
3. Organize Your Recordkeeping
Establish a central location where everyone in your household can put tax-related records all year long. Anything from a shoebox to a file cabinet works. Just be consistent to avoid a scramble for misplaced mileage logs or charity receipts come tax time. I personally use Shoeboxed to manage my own personal receipts. They're good for business too.
4. Review Your Paycheck
Make sure your employer is properly withholding and reporting retirement account contributions, health insurance payments, charitable payroll deductions and other items. These payroll adjustments can make a big difference on your bottom line. Fixing an error in your paycheck now gets you back on track before it becomes a huge hassle.
5. Consult a Tax Professional Early
If you are planning to use a tax professional to help you strategize, plan and make financial decisions throughout the year, feel free to contact me now. You'll have more time when you're not up against a deadline or anxious for your refund.
6. Prepare to Itemize Deductions
If you’re a Salt Lake City Bookkeeping client, make use of their services to help you maximize on your deductions. If your expenses typically fall just below the amount to make itemizing advantageous, a bit of planning to bundle deductions into 2013 may pay off. An early or extra mortgage payment, pre-deadline property tax payments, planned donations or strategically paid medical bills could equal some tax savings. If you need help with tax planning for 2013 please give us a call. We can help you prepare an approach that works best for you.
Each household's financial circumstances are different so it's important to fully consider your specific situation and goals before making large financial decisions. Feel free to contact us any time you have questions or concerns. We can help you stay abreast of tax law changes throughout the year--not just at tax time.
Ktasha's contact information: