Here is a quick list of tax items you need to get a good start on in the coming New Year. With a lot of these things the sooner the better:
1. Get your tax return information together now! If you wait too long you are going to be rushed and this will possibly cause you to miss deductions that save taxes or forget to claim income that will get you a letter from the IRS later in the year. Don’t put it off – get it done now so when your tax documents (W2s, 1099s, etc) come you are ready to schedule a meeting with your tax preparer or (gasp) do your taxes yourself.
2. If you have your return prepared by a professional, set up an appointment with them right away. Even though individual returns can’t be processed until January 31, meet with your old trusted preparer as soon as possible to get what you have in place – then items can quickly be added as they come in and the return can be processed as soon as possible (there may be a line of returns waiting for processing – this gets you in the line, plus if there is a question of who can take a dependent (divorce, etc.) usually the first return processed has the advantage.) One more headache out of the way!
3. If you are changing preparers this year and don’t have a new one in place, start looking now! (It may already be too late.) You need to meet with preparers before they get too busy with payroll items and other early meetings (see 2. above). Waiting this long may already have limited your options – best to get a new preparer in October or November so everything is set, but if you wait until the end of January, you may have to take what you can get (like a big box preparer!)
4. You can still save on taxes even though the year is over. If you qualify for a traditional IRA, you can make a contribution for 2013 until April 15. If you are self-employed and have a SEP or solo 401K you have until April 15 or (if on extension) your return is filed to make a contribution (If you are a corporation, you have until January 15 to make the employee deferral, but have the extended period to make the employer contribution.)
If you have questions, call or email me. I will still take new clients, but try to get to me early.
I am taking January 1-3 off from blogging, so see you next week and Happy New Year.
You can count on us to count for you!