4 Financial Steps to Take to Prepare for Tax Filing


Tax season doesn’t need to be a stressful season. You know when it’s coming, after all, and you always have time to prepare. You still have plenty of time to get everything you need together, so don’t fret. Below are a few of the things you’ll need for a successful tax season.

Get Your Documents

The first step towards tax preparedness has to do with your documents. Take some time to gather up all of your W2s and 1099s, as well as any other pay documents that you might have accrued over the course of the year. You probably go a flurry of statements from investments, banks, and debt holders near the beginning of the year – now your job is to figure out what you did with all of those documents.

Get Your Banking Information

Your next step is to make sure that you have everything you need from your bank. For some, this just means getting access to their checking and routing numbers for a refund. For others, this might mean getting statements about earned interest, mortgage payments, and investment products. It may also be a good idea to pull copies of your monthly statements if you own a business or do freelance work.

Check for Deductions

Next, start looking at deductions. While most people will take the standard deduction, there might be things that you can write off to reduce your tax burden. These include things like relocation expenses, job-related expenses, and even teacher expenditures. Do some research to figure out if there are things that others in your position typically write off on their taxes so that you can get the same financial benefits.

Figure Out How to File

Finally, try to figure out how you are going to file. If you have simple taxes, you can file on your own for free. The more complicated your taxes, the more help you’ll need. If you freelance or own a business, for example, you’ll likely want to look into getting professional help with tax preparation. Your goal should be to prepare your taxes in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable.

Don’t be afraid of tax season. Gather your documents, do some research, and make sure to file on time. If you’ve been diligent about record keeping and you’re honest on your tax forms, you’ve got nothing to fear from filing. Once you’re doing, you can move on to worrying about your finances for the next year.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

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