The day has finally come. Taxes are due today and the feeling I get when they are done is a weight off my shoulders. I am sure you are getting tired of hearing about taxes so this will be my last post on the subject for a while. If you have not already started, now is the best time to start preparing for 2012 tax year. If you are looking to lower your tax liability or be more prepared, there are steps you can take now to help you out. Here are a few tips to make your life easier:
- Collect Documents – It’s inevitable, every year I am running around the house searching various piles of papers for tax documents. This year I am going take anything that I think might have tax implications and I am going to file them in one folder. This will definitely relieve some of the stress during tax season.
- Previous Tax Return – Keep a copy of your previous year tax return with all your tax documents for 2012. This way you remember to look back at what you deducted so that you are less likely to forget something the following year. For example, I almost forgot to include a donation that I had done last year as well.
- Spring Cleaning – One of our most hated and favorite times. We all hate to spring clean our house, but it is so great once you are done. This provides you the opportunity to dispose of unused items and donate them to a local charity. This will provide a great donation deduction for your 2012 tax return. Make sure to file the receipt.
- Contribute to Retirement – Instead of making a lump sum contribution on April 14, 2013, make constant contributions throughout the year. If you don’t have a retirement account, open one and the contributions could lower your tax liability.
- Take Classes – Start taking some classes at your local college or university. You will hit two birds with one stone. You will get the benefit of a tax credit from the tuition and you will be increasing your knowledge base. I know people cringe at the idea of school, but you may actually enjoy it.
Well now that tax season is done we can all take a breather until next year. These tips could save you money and a lot of stress for tax year 2012. I just need to follow my own advice and prepare better.
What do you do to make your tax preparation easier? Let me know in a comment.
“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”
– Will Rogers