Tips and Advice

4 Tips to Help You Prepare for Tax Season

Start 2013 off on the right foot by moving forward with one or more of these smart tax moves.
couple preparing tax return
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Kristin Marino verified

couple preparing tax return It’s the time of year to start getting ready for the apocalypse end of the year and new beginnings. If you have different financial goals in mind for 2013, prepping your taxes is another item to add to your list of resolutions.

While some may already be thinking about what they’ll do with their tax return others will be focusing on how to make the most of their taxes before year’s end. Start 2013 off on the right foot by moving forward with one or more of these smart tax moves.

  • Consider adjusting your tax withholdings. While most people love getting that big fat refund in the spring, it might be time to re-consider it. It may not be good to rely on your refund for your expenses and sometimes that refund can be delayed. Plus, wouldn’t you rather get your money as you earn it than wait over a year to get it back? If you tend to owe money back to the federal government you may also want to consider changing your withholdings as the amount you have to pay may be smaller the next time you file.
  • Plan your deductions ahead of time. Just because it’s still December doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start getting your ducks in a row for tax season. Get any forms, receipts, and documents you need to file together before the year is up. If you have deductible items that will be paid in January consider paying them ahead of time.
  • Give to charity. Why wait for spring cleaning to get rid of all your unused clothing and home goods? Giving to charity can be a good tax deduction as long as you keep good records and receipts of your donations. The bigger the donation, the bigger the deduction.
  • An unfortunate side effect of tax season is identity theft, so you need to make sure to protect yourself ahead of time. Many thieves have begun to file fraudulent returns and getting your tax return that you have waited for all year. Identity theft protection can help identify problems before they become big issues.

While it is the end of the year and many are much more focused on the holidays, it’s never too early to start preparing for getting your taxes done. The earlier they are done, the earlier you can relax and not worry about filing.