Financial Tips

Prepped For Tax Time?

The annual, looming deadline to file your taxes is two months away. April 15 falls on a Saturday this year so the deadline to file has been pushed to April 18, but the prep should start now to prevent stress later. You’ve likely received your tax information in the mail, so it is key to organize all of these documents to properly file your returns.

The first part of the year is a great time to get fiscally organized, and, if you prepare now, filing your taxes can be less of a burden. Here is a quick list of things you can do now to help relieve the stress sometimes caused by last minute filing:

  • Locate and review last year’s return – Take a look at what you did last year to refresh your memory and determine what is needed for this year.
  • Compose a checklist – Did you change jobs? Did you sell any stocks? What should you be getting in the mail? This includes W-2’s, 1099’s, mortgage statements, and anything else that will be sent to you for filing. As you receive each form, cross it off your list.
  • Gather your expenses – If you itemize your deductions, you will need to track down your receipts or statements. In addition, you should also gather child care costs, donations, and gifts.
  • Bring it all together – Create a file online or use a physical folder to keep all of your information together and stored in a safe place.
  • Last minute items – Do you have an IRA? You have until your tax filing day to make your contribution, where as other tax-saving options must be completed by December 31.

If, by chance, you are not able to get everything together in time, you can file an extension, but the request must be received by the original filing deadline (you would need to file IRS Form 4868). But remember, you also need to include a payment for any estimated taxes that may be due to avoid any penalties or interest.

Once you have filed your returns, it may be helpful to spend some time to get organized for the following year. Review your process and try to come up with ways to better prepare yourself. It may be helpful to set up reminders to periodically organize your statements, maybe once every three months or at during summer.

Finally, don’t forget to save your tax information. The IRS suggests keeping tax documents and paperwork for three years. Keep everything stored with your current tax information so it is easy to locate should you need documents for any reason in the future.Happy filing! 

Securities and insurance products are offered through Univest Investments, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered through Girard Partners, a Univest Wealth Management Firm. These affiliated companies are licensed subsidiaries of Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania. Products and services offered are not FDIC insured, are not a deposit of or bank guaranteed, and are subject to risks, including possible loss of any principal amount invested.

Please note that neither this financial institution nor any of its affiliates give tax or legal advice. Consult a tax advisor regarding what may be best for your personal situation. 

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