Don’t wait until the last minute to start tax planning. Mid-April will be here soon enough and there are many things you can do to ensure a stress-free tax filing season.
The first thing you should do is consider any changes in your life that happened in 2010 and that might affect your taxes. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Did my marital status change due to marriage or divorce?
- Did my kids move out?
- Did I buy or sell a home?
- Did my employment situation change? Did I lose my job? Did I retire?
- Did a disaster – like a hurricane, tornado or flooding – cause a hardship for me?
- Do I qualify for tax credits?
Here are a few more things to think about before you sit down to fill out your tax return:
- Organize your records.
- Determine the amount of tax withheld.Organize your records.
- Did you move, have a new name or address?
- Have you taken advantage of all available 2010 credits?
- Are you a student or do you have students in your household?
- Did you buy a new computer for college use in 2010?
- Considering home improvements?
- Did you go green with a new vehicle this year?
- Don’t forget the Making Work Pay Credit.
- Do you qualify for other tax credits?
Remember, a little planning can save you a lot of frustration and surprises later.