Getting Prepared for Tax Season

Once you’ve returned home from that great long-distance trip you took to celebrate the holidays and the seasonal glow begins to fade you will find yourselves coming face to face with the realities of income tax preparation.  Somehow it always seems that whenever one receives presents or gifts there is someone waiting to take something away.  But you can ease the bite quite a bit if you try to be prepared for the onset of the tax preparation marathon.  There are simple but valuable steps you can follow to make the process easier.

First, establish and maintain records – and files – that keep track of all your purchases and financial actions over each year.  You can categorize them by purpose – home maintenance, children, medical, business, employment and utilities.

Second, list all of your sources of income, and retain copies of all your payments.  If you receive you pay checks electronically, like many of us do today, then retain copies of the payment notices in a separate file with the name and address and tax number of the payee.  Any income from private sources should also be recorded.

Third, keep track of all your local and state income financial concerns while setting up your records.  Often there are special exemptions by state or local government; other times there will be local or state taxes you can claim when preparing your federal return.  Some people keep entirely separates files to record local and state taxes, particularly when issues like property and school taxes are concerned.

Fourth, hire a tax preparation service like H&R Block.  While it is possible to do your taxes, yourself you can end up tearing your hair out in the process.  Although the nation’s tax codes were not originally designed or established to have that impact many people seem to have that type of response to the process.  It is far better to use a Groupon coupon to hire a professional firm with years of experience in income tax preparation than to go through the rigors of trying to do the process by yourself.   And H&R Block will assist you in the event of any audit or examination of your returns.  That gives you the confidence of knowing your taxes are being prepared by a professional firm that will stand behind its work.