- Top priority is to make sure your tax return is in a secure place. In our paperless world, make sure you have saved a copy of your returns to an external hard drive, or to the cloud. It's a good idea to keep the supporting documents for those returns in the same place. If you have a paper copy of your return and supporting documents, make sure they are locked up. While the IRS statute of limitations (the time limit for the IRS to audit your return) in most cases may only be three years from the time of filing, many states have different limitations. Therefore, we recommend saving your returns for at least six years. You also never know when you will be applying for a new loan, college assistance, or other situation that requires a copy of your prior year tax returns.
- If you got a larger than expected refund for 2013, and especially if you owed more than anticipated, you should consider revising your Form W-4 with your payroll department. This is the form that determines the amount of federal withholding that is taken out of your paycheck. And don’t forget to adjust your state withholding also. Increasing your allowances will put more money in your pocket on payday, while decreasing your allowances will reduce your paycheck.
- Contact your CPA! It's never too early to start tax planning. Having a midyear status check to see how your day to day life changes are impacting your tax situation, as well as seeing how your business is doing and how any tax changes for 2014 will impact you, is always a good idea. Be proactive about your taxes!
- Keep a file folder for 2014 taxes, and make sure it is easily accessible. Every time you get a document that you may need for your 2014 taxes, put it in the folder. Examples include: charitable contribution receipts, closing statements from property sales or purchases, property tax receipts, rental expense receipts, etc. When you start receiving your 2014 IRS tax forms, you will have everything in one spot, making your life much easier.
- If you have extended your return for 2013, make sure you are in the process of getting the final pieces of information together and to your CPA. September 15th and October 15th will be here before we know it!
As always, contact our office with any questions or concerns. We are always happy to help!