It’s time to put 2015 behind us and look forward to what a new year has in store. Many people are motivated to set financial goals, make spending plans, and get documents organized when a fresh year begins, and as April is only a couple months away, it’s time to start preparing for filing your tax return. As you are organizing, save and organize the documents and receipts that will be needed in order to prepare your taxes. If you don’t already have a filing system, you might try folders, envelopes, or clear resealable storage bags to save and sort these items. Many of your needed documents may trickle in one by one so having a system will make finding needed documents a smoother one.
Whether you have a tax preparer or you prepare your tax return yourself, there are many items you will need to have readily available to complete your tax filing.
*W-2’s/1099 MISC from any employers
*interest and dividend statements
*pension and retirement distributions
*capital gains/losses from investments
*education expenses including student loan interest paid, as well as IRA and retirement plan contributions, and health savings accounts
*real estate tax paid receipt, mortgage interest paid, and charitable contributions
*previous year’s tax return
*medical expenses/prescriptions – if you have enough to meet the requirements
*if you had major repairs to your home which included energy efficient appliances, windows, etc.
*if you purchased or sold a home during the year, gather information regarding the purchase or sale
*if you own a business, you will need to have all income and expenses documented
There are many resources available to help you get ready. The IRS website (www.irs.gov) has information on current topics for tax preparation such as the Affordable Care Act. You can also find forms and filing options.
By having a filing system and these resources, you will find that tax time doesn’t have to be stressful. Being organized well enough to find all the documentation you need to prepare a tax return can give you a feeling of success!