Taxes – How to Prepare

It’s tax season. Whether you love it or hate it, it always comes around at the same time. Most people grumble about having to put together financial documents and either schedule an appointment with their tax consultant or sit down and do their taxes themselves. With the government shutdown, some worry that their refunds won’t arrive on time.

Personally, I love tax season. I love putting together the different forms and filling out the paperwork online. I could have been a bookkeeper or accountant in another life.

Now, I own a house, a couple businesses, have student loans, etc, so I have a lot of forms that I need in order to do my taxes. I created a helpful little checklist (that I’m sure I will add to every year or update to keep track of everything) that I use. It might not work completely for you, but it’s a good starting point.

  • W2’s
  • Mortgage Interest Statement, 1098
  • Schedule C (for the businesses)
  • Etsy Sales Invoices
  • Etsy Bill Invoices
  • Square Invoices
  • Paypal Invoices
  • HSA Contributions, 5498-SA
  • HSA Distributions, 1099-Q
  • Student Loan Interest, 1098-E
  • Property Tax Statement

Again, these are for my business. I print a checklist and put it in my planner, and for every document I get, I check it off. It’s not a complete list and won’t work for everyone. But, it is a start and you can add to it or change things to suit your tax needs.

The point is, you need to prepare. You can’t just pull together your documents one weekend and haphazardly file your taxes. You might be missing a major deduction. It’s best to have one place you put all your tax documents and a checklist to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything.

Now, I’m not an accountant or a bookkeeper or anything like that. I do my own books for my businesses and I do my own taxes because I like to be informed about where my money is going. I like to be this organized. If you have a CPA or go to one of the tax preparation places to have your taxes filed, your tax prepper will thank you for being organized and having everything for them. It saves you time and money by not needing an extra appointment.

The point is, by being prepared for tax season, you’re one step closer to getting every little deduction that you can claim and that’s more money in your pocket (or less money you have to pay).

So, what are some common forms you receive that help you prepare for taxes. Comment below and I’ll put together a list to share with everyone.

Until next time,

Jen

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