Like clockwork, Tax Day comes around every year on April 15th. Although it might seem too soon to start thinking about it, April 15, 2022, will be here before you know it.
Now that we’re past the holidays, it’s a good time to start preparing for what can be a very stressful time for many people. The more you prepare throughout the year, the easier tax time will be for you and your tax preparer.
When it comes to Tax Day, there are a number of elements to keep track of to make sure you avoid making errors on your taxes. Making mistakes and/or forgetting that you need to file can result in additional fines and penalties – and it can lead to long-lasting consequences, too. We see them in our office every day.
Don’t let this be you! Make sure to prepare ahead of time so that your 2021 taxes (that, again, must be filed by April 15, 2022) don’t present you with unexpected surprises.
How To Prepare
There are many articles online that can help you determine what may or may not be important for your upcoming tax filing
. Everyone’s taxes are unique to their life, family, and business. Read on to get a general idea of what you might want to keep in the back of your mind to avoid surprises!
Gather Your Tax Records and Make Sure They’re Organized
If you keep your tax records organized throughout the year, you’ll be in a much better place than those who don’t. It can also give you a good idea about what you might owe when it comes time to pay your taxes, too.
Making sure you’ve organized your tax records can also help you confirm that you have all your tax information available and ready, ensuring your tax filing is complete and accurate without missing anything.
If you’ve moved or changed your name since the last tax day, make sure to tell the IRS well before April so that your information on file is up to date. The IRS has very little patience if they’ve sent you correspondence to an old address and you never receive it.
Research Pertinent Filing Information
Having a good idea of which tax bracket you fall into can go a long way toward easing worry, stress, and surprises when it comes to paying your taxes.
A wealth of information and resources is available online at irs.gov
to help make sure you’re prepared. Also, the online portal on the IRS website can give you access to the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see their payment dates and amounts.
If you’re eligible for a 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, you can also log into your online account to see if there are any Economic Impact Payment amounts you can claim.
If you don’t yet have an online account, make sure to make one right away. It’ll help your tax day go more smoothly.
Verify Your Tax Withholdings
When it comes to owing taxes, you can decide to withhold more money from your income (to receive a refund). The flipside of that, however, is that if you’ve withheld less money than required, you’ll have to pay the IRS the difference when you file.
Changing your withholding situation can help avoid a tax bill or let individuals keep more money each payday. Big life changes like getting married or divorced, welcoming a child, or taking on a second job, may also be reasons to change your withholding.
Consider Direct Deposit
If you’re looking into getting a faster deposit on your refund (assuming you’re owed one), consider setting up direct deposit.
Using direct deposit will likely give you much faster access to your tax refund than waiting on a paper check in the mail. If you don’t have a bank account, however, there are still ways to open accounts for direct deposits.
Keep an eye here at Guardian Tax Law
for additional tips for making tax day less stressful.