How to Gear up for Tax Season

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Posted on 01/18/2011

April 15th may seem like it’s in the distant future, but tax season is around the corner. Instead of putting it off, start preparing soon. You’ll make this year less painful by gearing up for tax season now.


Research Tax Professionals - Just like hanging drywall or laying sod, tax preparation is best when done by a trained professional. Get a little help finding an accountant that fits your needs by using free online directories like AccountantsWorld.com or TaxAnalysts.com.


Print off a Checklist - Checklists are a great way to make sure you have everything you need ready to go. If you’re hiring a tax professional, often they can charge by the hour. So the more organized you are the less you’ll spend. Use a free tax preparation checklist like this one from H&R Block to make sure your paperwork is in order.


Make Final Retirement Contributions - You have until April 15 to make 2010 contributions to your ROTH IRA, according to tax professionals. So if you want to bump up your contributions, do that now so it will be factored into your 2010 taxes.


Get Receipts in Order - Where are your receipts? If they’re in a shoebox or scattered around various junk drawers it’s time to get them in order. Start organizing them now so that you have a clearer picture of what you’ll be able to deduct.


Don’t Rush - The best way to prepare for tax season is to slowly make progress towards getting your taxes completed and filed. The last thing you want to do is procrastinate and end up rushing to meet the deadline. Taxes may not be fun, but they don’t have to be stressful if you gear up sooner rather than later.


By Alison Storm


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Comments


Barb

Posted on 01.27.11 at 8:01 AM

Great tips! We always hire a professional. Makes doing taxes so much easier!

Gina

Posted on 01.30.11 at 2:13 PM

It's never to early! I think if you wait until April then you forget to keep your paperwork organized for the New Year. Thanks for that checklist--I'm going to be better off next time around.

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