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Preparing for April 15: Get organized. Gather your info.

Preparing for April 15: Get organized. Gather your info.

February 16, 2016

We may be only one month into the New Year, but if you haven’t gathered your financial information for tax day yet, you may already be behind the curve. Now is the time to get organized for April 15th to avoid frustration in the spring, delays with filing, and even extra costs.

By being prepared, you'll be ready to file as soon as the IRS begins accepting returns. And the earlier you file, the sooner you'll get any refund that might be due to you.

1: Gather your W2s, 1098s, 1099s or other applicable forms you’ve received from investments, estates, and trusts. By now, you should have received any necessary forms from employers or account holders. If you haven’t, contact them right away.

2: Gather all necessary Social Security Numbers or Tax ID Numbers in one location and keep them stored in a safe place that no one else can access. In addition to your own, you’ll need to have the numbers for your spouse, your dependents, the childcare center if you are filing for the child care credit and everyone else you can claim.

If a Social Security number is missing, the IRS could delay the processing of your return, disallow a tax credit you claiming or even slow down your tax refund.

3: Gather information about itemized deductions. If you are a homeowner or own tangible real estate, don’t forget about home mortgage interest, home equity loan interest and real estate tax. All can be deducted from your tax liability each year.

4: Make sure you have receipts on file for any deductions you are claiming. If you’re self-employed, pull together evidence of all business-related expenses, including auto mileage, office equipment, supplies and even utility bills. Don’t forget about receipts for charitable deductions.

5: Make your appointment early with your accountant or tax preparer. Don’t wait until the last minute when everyone is rushing toward that midnight deadline on April 15th.

6: Using all of the categories you’ve gathered, create an empty tax file for next year and use it to file away your information as you receive it. It will make gathering your information fast and easy when you get ready to file in April 2017.

This information is general in nature and should not be construed as tax or legal advice.  Neither Signator Investors. nor its Representatives may offer tax and/or legal advice.  Please consult your tax and/or legal adviser for guidance on your particular situation.