Welcome to 2020 – not just a new year, but a brand new decade and a fresh start to begin again or pick up where you left off on tasks you’re on the cusp of accomplishing.
But here’s something you may not have atop your “New Year, New You” to-do list: taxes. They’re one of the handful of guarantees in life, another of which is how easy they are to put off for another day.
It’s time to end the frustration associated with procrastinating on taxes and get them done nice and early. You’ll be so glad you did come April – and have more opportunity to devote your energies to accomplishing the things in life that really matter.
Here are just a few of the ways you can make taxes less, well, taxing:
Gather relevant receipts
Invoices. Bank statements. Cash register tape. Confirmation emails. There’s no shortage of ways to keep track of your purchases, which you can use to itemize your tax deductions. While this process is a bit more time-consuming than going the standard deduction route, it can maximize your refund. The key here is organization. If you’ve stowed away receipts somewhere safe, such as in a folder, inputting the appropriate information – or giving them to an accountant – should be very simple. Make sure to check your email inbox as well, as receipts are being distributed by this method more frequently. In the future, you may want to request for paperless billing exclusively to make the gathering of your receipts simpler. Just be sure to flag them as “important” so they don’t wind up in your spam folder.
Contact your human resources department
If you have questions on just about anything, HR usually has answers. The same can be said about your taxes. If you haven’t received it already, HR should be sending you a hard copy of your W-2, which you’ll need to file your taxes. If you see anything on the document that appears inaccurate or confusing, ask HR as soon as you can so you can get everything straightened out before you file. Additionally, while you should always be sure to keep your forms in a safe place, HR may also be able to provide you with a back-up copy should it get lost.
Understand new tax changes
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced sweeping changes to the tax code, many of which are new for 2019. For instance, there are the same number of brackets, but the rates have changed. Visit IRS.gov to learn more or speak with your accountant for tips on what’s relevant to your situation.
Find the right software
There are tons of tax platforms available online or in store you can use to file. You can file your federal income taxes for free with Turbo Tax or TaxSlayer, for example. As a member of the military, you may be eligible for a discount.
With one less thing to do, may all your resolutions this year come true!