Step 1: Gather Your Documents
- Income W-2
- 1099-INTs from savings accounts
- Roth Conversion – 1099-R
- Health Insurance 1095-A
- HSA Distributions/HSA Contributions
- Roth IRA Contributions/IRA Contributions
- Mortgage Interest Statement – 1098
- Charitable Contributions
- Home Improvement – Energy Efficient Deductions
- Student Loan Interest – 1098-E
- Childcare Costs
- Taxes you’ve paid – real estate, state & local, & personal property
Step 2: Consider Your Year
- Changed jobs?
- Changed/opened new bank accounts?
- Start a business/sell a business?
- Acquire any stock/sell any stock during the year?
- Take out a home equity loan?
- Take out student loans?
- Did you enroll for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act?
- Gift more than $14,000 during the year to 1 individual?
Step 3: Determine How You Will File Your Taxes
Step 4: Reconsider Your Withholdings
Step 5: Contribute to your IRA
This is an eleventh-hour task that can still count for this year’s taxes. So even if you’ve seriously procrastinated on this step, you can get it done right before you send in your taxes in April.
Step 6: Assess Your Weaknesses
As you go through the tax process this year, pay attention to what is slowing you down. Is it your receipt system? Trying to locate certain documents? Waiting too long to get started on your taxes? Whatever it is, use that to make your system simpler and more efficient next year.