Crunch time is on and we’ll soon be at the end of the tax season. For all of us, this is definitely cause to celebrate simply because the stress of tax preparation and filing is over!
Your first thought may be to tuck all-things-tax-related out of sight and out of mind until next year, but why not do yourself a favor and set the stage for an even better financial future? You’ll thank yourself for taking a few easily and quick steps of tax preparation now.
Organize Your Tax Paperwork. After you file your tax return, if you immediately set aside your tax forms in a safe place, wonderful! If not, take a moment to do so. This will help you to avoid scrambling to find them for reference next year (or throughout the year, if needed for loans, etc.) Also take a moment to gather together information and forms you will need for next year’s tax preparation and start a file folder to continue to adding items throughout the year. Be sure to include:
- receipts for your current tax preparation and filing
- donation receipts for 2016
- record of work expenses-to-date for 2016
Assess Your Tax Status. Did you underpay or overpay taxes this year? You may want to adjust your withholding accordingly to avoid having the same result next year. If your situation has or will be changing in 2016, such as adding a new dependent or getting married, be sure to adjust to take that into consideration, as well.
Seek Expert Advice. Once your taxes are filed, you still may need financial advice to plan a better tax season for the coming year and also to decide if there are investments or budget modifications you should consider. Block Advisors is a year-round dedicated tax partner, offering both tax preparation and tax planning experience at any time throughout the year. If you haven’t discussed it already, now is the perfect time to talk to your professional advisor about changes you can make to help control the outcome of your tax situation next year.
If you don’t have questions or changes to make right now, be sure to put your Block Advisor’s information in an easily accessible place so that you may reach out when big changes do occur to discuss if it will have implications to your taxes. Don’t have a Block Advisor? There are over 280 Block Advisor offices across the country, you can find your local Block Advisor HERE to make an appointment today.
Revisit Your Budget. Now that you have a clear financial picture of how your budget last year affected your tax outcome, revisit your 2016 household (and/or business) budget to see if you are still on the best track. Make changes in your income or expense areas now to ensure you have the best results by year end.
Find Your Zen. Take a few moments (or even a full day, if possible) to take a deep breath, congratulate yourself for getting through tax time with your sanity intact, and relax! Taking the time to de-stress helps your body and mind to be in optimum shape and that’s always an important key element to keeping your life in balance.
Do you have steps you follow after you file your tax return to help you have a better outcome in the next tax season?