Women on Money & Mindset: 6 tips to get you ready for 2017 tax season
Most Americans dread tax season because they find the data gathering overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to get more organized to make tax season easier for you.
A note of caution to readers: The tips below should only be used for a 2017 tax return. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated many of the deductions listed and will affect other parts of your tax return — next year.
Review 2017 and look for changes that happened such as:
- Marriage or divorce
- New baby or an adopted child
- Death of someone who lived with you
- Sale of a house
- New business
- Move for a job
All of these life changes can affect your taxes. Write them all down so that you don’t forget them when your return is prepared.
Go back in time
Looking through your 2016 previous tax return will help you focus on what you need for the current year. Except for the changes mentioned above, your returns will probably be similar from one year to the next.
This is the most over-whelming step for a lot of us. Set up a folder to gather all of your tax information. As you receive W-2s, 1099s, 1099-Rs, and brokerage statements through the mail or the Internet, put that documentation in the folder. Everything will be in one spot to make things easier for you.
Make sure you have the documentation and are ready to report all other income such as:
- Income from a sole proprietorship
- Cancellation of debt income
- Sale of investment or personal real estate
- K-1 income from partnerships, trusts or S corporations
- Adjustments to reduce income like pension contributions, IRAs, student loan interest, tuition and HSA contributions should be considered.
Capture every deduction
Deductions help reduce your taxable income, which generally means a lower tax bill. Depending on your personal situation, deductions could include:
- Medical and dental expenses
- Travel costs for […]