Although tax season doesn’t officially begin until next week, it is important to get ready and file as early as possible to avoid any unneeded stress by using these tips to prepare for the 2017 tax season now.
Here are a few tips to prepare for Tax Season 2017
Keep all documentation organized
From now until the start of next year’s filing season, you may receive a flurry of paperwork that will be crucial to your returns. It is important that you set up a filing system that works for you and one that you can easily access throughout the year.
Some of the documents that you can expect to receive may include:
- W-2 earning statements
- Form 1099-MISCs
- Mortgage interest statements
- Retirement account distribution statements
- Brokerage account statements
- Form 1095 if you purchase health insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace Exchange
This paperwork will find its way to you anytime during the remainder of 2016 and the start of 2017. It is critical that you keep them stored in a safe place and even scan and store copies of them online for extra security. When it is time to file your returns, you will have the paperwork you need organized and ready to go.
Life Changing Events
Your next year’s returns could depend significantly on the life events that you experience in 2016. Some of the personal situations that may affect your tax filing season in 2017 include:
- Getting married
- Having or adopting a child
- Spending money on looking for a job
- Relocating for work
- Starting a small business
- Working from home on a regular basis
If any of these situations apply to your life this year, you may have to adjust the manner in which you file taxes. You might have to use different forms than the standard 1040A or the 1040-EZ. You can best clarify your filing status by consulting with a professional tax service like Pierce Firm, PLLC.
Review Tax Law Changes
The tax laws in the U.S. and in your state can change drastically from year to year. You can get ready for the 2017 filing season by reviewing any changes made to tax matters like:
- Amounts that can be put in applicable retirement accounts
- Income limits for Roth IRA contributions
- Trust and estate regulations
- Business, medical, or volunteer work mileage rates
- Rules for tax credit programs
- Medical expense deductions
- State tax rules
You can research the tax law changes by utilizing free tax resources in your community, such as those offered by AARP. You can also find this information on IRS.gov or on the website for your state’s revenue department.
If you are a procrastinator when it comes to filing your tax returns, you may be well advised to change that habit and prepare to file early in 2017. Tax preparers and accountants have noted that identity theft is on the rise. They frequently encounter cases of people finding that someone else has filed a return using their personal information.
One of the best ways to avoid having someone steal your information and filing a return using your Social Security number is to file early. This action reduces the chance that someone else could file a return and lay claim to your refund later in the tax season.
It is never too early to get ready for next year’s tax filing season. Using these strategies, you can prepare yourself now and be ready when tax season opens in 2017.
Let us know if you have questions, we’d be happy to help.