Tax Day may be a million miles away from your mind right now. But if you scurried to hit the federal deadline last tax season, you know how quickly April 15 arrives.
I picked the brains of two local tax experts for advice on prepping for Tax Day:
- Verify with your employer that you're withholding the correct filing status (married or single) and the correct exemption amount on your paychecks.
- If you use your vehicle for your own small business or for a company that doesn't reimburse mileage, record your mileage so you get the maximum deduction.
- If you're self employed, come up with a system - file folders work well - to keep track of your income and expenses (supplies, telephone bills, postage, rent). That way, everything is in one location and you're not rushing to find paperwork in 20 different places when it comes time to file.
- If you've purchased or sold stocks, keep all of that information together. It makes things much easier for the person filing your taxes.
- If you think you will owe money, talk with your tax preparer and ask for a blank estimate. Making an estimated payment before the year is over will lower your penalty. Every little bit helps.
Thanks to Tammy VanCleve, a partner and accountant at Riverview Tax & Accounting in Dubuque, and Melissa Geers, a tax preparer at Classic Tax & Accounting, which serves the Marion/Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area.
By Emily Kittle