Filing taxes is rarely high on anyone’s list of favorite things to do. Preparation, though, can cut out some of the pain and the last-minute scramble to file your taxes on time.
While tax planning works better as a year-round process, there are steps you can take now to get your finances ready for filing in April.
“Nothing beats the value of organization when it comes to filing taxes,” said Tim Bauer, a certified financial planner and founder of Evergreen Financial Group. “If you haven’t yet done any organizing for the year, it’s not too late. Even just a few hours one or two days now will pay off at tax time.”
Here’s what you can do.
Half the battle of filing taxes is making sure you have all the right forms you need. W-2s from employers, 1099-INTs from the bank, and 1099-NECs from contract work all start showing up in late January or early February.
Create a folder to gather all these documents in one place as they come in the mail. If you get these forms electronically, immediately download them and save them with other tax documents that you’ll need.