Tips to take the edge off
Save each and every tax form that arrives in your mailbox.
Designate a specific place to put W-2s, 1099s (it’s not just about self employment or bank interest. There are over a dozen 1099 forms), 1098s (mortgage interest, student loan interest, tuition, car donation), 1095 (health coverage) as they arrive, put them in the same place. A folder or a shoebox will work, as long as you put it where you will remember it!
If you know you will be sending your forms to Treehouse Taxes electronically, scan them as pdf’s and put them in a 2018 Tax folder on your computer. We’ll provide you with a safe way (encrypted) to send them to us.
Get your business receipts compiled and organized.
When 2019 comes, you don’t want to be looking frantically for receipts from the summer of 2018. Eliminate anxiety by getting organized now. Round up all receipts, credit card and bank statements, and cancelled checks. The more often you do this the less time it will take and by doing this, it will be easier to claim business expenses, list charitable deductions, and include all expenses that may have otherwise been forgotten. Email us for a copy of our expense categories so you are ready for your appointment at the Treehouse.
DO THIS BEFORE 12/31 For independent contractors and small business folks looking for more business expenses in 2018, using a credit card is the same as using cash. The expense is recognized for tax purposes in the year the charge is incurred, not the year you pay off the credit card balance. So go ahead and buy the office supplies or small electronics you need before the end of the year.
Get the full benefit of potential tax deductions.
DO THIS BEFORE 12/31 Since tax deductions can lower your overall taxable income, it’s important to maximize your deductions. For example, if you had a particularly good year, consider making an extra mortgage payment (the interest is deductible) or even prepay real estate taxes before the end of the year to allow for an extra deduction.
Contribute to your Roth or Traditional IRA.
If you’ve been thinking about opening or increasing your contributions to a Traditional or a Roth IRA, you can contribute and have those contributions count for the previous year up until April 15 of the following year.
So, if you’re still on the fence, your window of opportunity has not yet closed. You can make those contributions as long as you do it by April 15, 2018. If you’ve got questions, email us to receive our Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA comparison.
Give ‘til it feels good.
DO THIS BEFORE 12/31 If you’re planning to donate to charity, do it before the end of the year. Your donations may reduce your taxable income if you itemize deductions on a Schedule A. Remember that charitable contributions must be made to qualified organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Get and keep the receipt. You’ll need it (for donations of $250 or more). If you donate your used household items or clothes, get the receipt!
Think (and talk) about life changes.
Did you get married (or divorced) in the past year? Did you have or adopt a child? Did one of your children spread their wings and set out on their own? Did you buy or sell a house or go back to college? These things will all affect your taxes.
Not only that, many of these changes affect what happens on the tax forms of others, so it’s worthwhile to talk to the people involved and make sure that you’re not claiming dependents that you shouldn’t be
Ask yourself these simple questions.
When we meet with you we can help determine if you’re eligible for certain tax credits
Have you or someone in your household started or gone back to school?
Did you or someone in your household pay for child or dependent care?
Did you contribute to a retirement account?
Did you work but not make very much money?
Come see us early for a better price on your appointment.
We get busier the closer we get to the tax deadline so we are going to offer you a discount for coming early. If your appointment is between February 1 – February 28 we will reduce your fee by $50, If you come between Mar 1 – March 20 we’ll give you $25 off.
We built the Treehouse so you would have a safe, fun and friendly place to get your taxes done.
Email us if you have other questions about what you need to do to get ready for tax season
or just to say hello.