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7 ways to get organized for the tax year

Taxes » Tax Filing » 7 Ways To Get Organized For The Tax Year

Let's get organized
Let's get organized

Even if your tax situation isn't complicated, there's still documentation the Internal Revenue Service demands. But filing taxes doesn't have to be an ordeal. And it can be less frustrating and less time-consuming if you have all the material at your fingertips.

By being prepared, you'll be ready to file your return at the earliest possible moment (the IRS usually starts accepting returns around mid-January, but thanks to last fall's government shutdown, the earliest it will accept returns this year is Jan. 31). And the earlier you file, the sooner you'll get your refund.

The key to a successful tax form is proper reporting. The IRS wants to know how much money you made so it can tax it. You need to know what you can put on your Form 1040 that will help you trim your tax bill.

To help you organize your tax paperwork so that you and the IRS will be happy, let's look at seven ways to help you get organized.

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Maybe you haven't received your W-2 yet, but there's a lot you can do to get ready for tax season.

There are a couple good reasons to file your taxes as soon as possible. First, you'll get your refund that much sooner, second, you beat the mad rush in April.

To make sure you can file as soon as you receive you're W-2, get organized. Start by gathering up all the social security numbers for those you'll be claiming as dependents. Next, look for 1099 forms to start coming in the mail. Interest and dividends earned are documented on 1099s and need to be filed with your taxes. If you're a homeowner, the interest you pay on your mortgage payment isn't taxable. Your lender will send you a form 1098 with this amount, so keep that handy for a deduction.

Finally, make sure your good deeds don't go unnoticed by the IRS. Have receipts for all of your charitable donations ready when it comes time to file.

 

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