The 2016 tax season just ended, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until next January to start thinking about your 2017 filing. Taking the right steps today can make your year less stressful. Steven M. Vogt, CPA, offers a full range of tax services at his Chandler, AZ, office to help you prepare for the coming tax season. These tips can help you manage your financial records, so next year’s filing is more manageable.
1. Get Organized
Whether you have a regular full-time job, own your own business, or are self-employed, the key to a stress-free tax season is getting—and staying—organized. This could be as simple as creating a folder to hold important financial documents in one place or as complex as developing a system to track business-related expenses like supplies and gas mileage.
2. Review Your W-4 Withholding
Whether you received a large tax refund this year or owed more than you anticipated, review your current W-4 withholding and consider making adjustments. While getting a refund is nice, ask yourself whether that money could have been better spent throughout the year or put in an interest-bearing account. As part of his tax services, Steven M. Vogt, CPA, can help you determine how much you should be withholding this year.
3. Make & Track Charitable Donations
Making charitable donations before the end of the year can lower your tax liability. Keep the receipts you receive as proof of these donations in case you are ever audited.
4. Contribute to Retirement Accounts
Contributing to eligible retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or a traditional IRA, can lower your taxable income. There are limits on how much you can contribute and still receive this benefit. In 2017, the IRS permits individuals under age 50 to contribute as much as $18,000 to a 401(k) and $5,500 to an IRA. Individuals over 50 can contribute up to $24,000 and $6,500, respectively. Self-employed individuals can contribute up to 25% of their net earnings, excluding personal contributions.
5. Get Health Insurance
If you didn’t have insurance in 2016, you may have paid a penalty. Although the Affordable Care Act is at the center of today’s political debate, signing up for insurance now can help you avoid those penalties in the future. While open enrollment has passed, you may still be eligible if you meet certain criteria.
If you already feel stressed about preparing this year’s returns, you need the comprehensive tax services offered by Steven M. Vogt, CPA. He offers both business and individual tax preparation to help clients avoid IRS tax problems. Visit his website to learn more about his services or call (480) 732-9898 to schedule an appointment.