You may be tempted to forget all about your taxes once you’ve filed your tax return. Do not give in to that temptation. If you start your tax planning now, you may avoid a tax surprise when you file next year. Now is a good time to set up a system so you can keep your tax records safe and easy to find. Here are some tips to give you a head start on next year’s taxes:
- Take action when life changes occur. Some events in your life can change the amount of tax you pay. If you change your marital status, or have a baby, or go back to college, or retire, give us a call. We provide a half hour of free tax planning for our clients, and can help you figure out whether you need to make changes in the amount of tax you have withheld from your pay.
- Report changes in circumstances to the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you enroll in insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2015, you should report changes in circumstance to the Marketplace when they happen. Report events such as changes in your income or family size. Doing so will help you avoid getting too much or too little financial assistance in advance.
- Keep records safe. Put your 2014 tax return and supporting records in a safe place. If you ever need your tax return or records, it will be easy for you to get them. For example, you may need a copy of your tax return if you apply for a home loan or financial aid. You should use your tax return as a guide when you do your taxes next year.
- Stay organized. It makes tax time easier. Designate a large envelope to collect tax information, and have your family put tax records in it all year long. That way you won’t have to search for misplaced records when you file next year.
- Think about itemizing. If you claim a standard deduction on your tax return, you may be able to lower your taxes if you itemize deductions instead. A donation to charity could mean some tax savings. Check with your tax professional if you are unsure whether it would be worth itemizing on your taxes.
Planning now can pay off with savings at tax time next year. Remember, we are here year round and we are happy to help you understand your situation and plan ahead. No one likes tax surprises!