Dec. 23, 2013 – TaxTalk Blog
It’s that time of year when we review our list and check it twice. Finish decorating for the holidays, make a last minute wrapping paper trip, and organize tax documents … OK, I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but tax season will be here before you can say fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
When the holidays are over, it may be helpful to use the down time to make your tax preparation list. Here are some to-do’s to check off before you start preparing your return:
- Keep your receipts together. Collect your receipts into a big envelope, folder, or even a shoebox all year long. Separating these receipts by tax or deduction type (ex: insulation deduction, property tax) makes the whole process easier. Or, use a personal scanner to collect receipts on your computer, but be sure to save them on a back up drive.
- Make a list. Make a list of documents you need to file your tax return, including items such as your W-2, 529 account statement, 1099s, etc. Check them off as they arrive to prevent you from filing with incomplete information. This will help to eliminate any uncertainties and speed up the filing process.
- Take stock of your life. Did your life circumstances change during the year? For example, marriage, divorce, having children, even moving can have an impact on your filing status and withholding. Head down to human resources before the year is over and make sure they have your current information on file.
- Review online purchases. Check to see if your online purchases included a sales tax charge; if not, you will owe use tax to Indiana. Use tax is owed when a sales tax is not paid on purchases made over the internet or while traveling outside Indiana.
- Don’t use that pay stub. Don’t use a pay stub to file your return. Pay stubs do not include all the necessary tax saver information. Additionally, you are required to use a W-2 to file electronically and to have your return processed at the department. So, wait for your W-2 to arrive by the end of January at the latest.
If you follow these tips, success in filing your taxes will be a lot easier this coming year. In the meantime, have a safe and happy holiday!
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