From IRS Tax Tips:
Most people stop thinking about taxes after they file their tax return. But
there’s no better time to start tax planning than right now. And it’s never too
early to set up a smart recordkeeping system. Here are six IRS tips to help you
start to plan for this year’s taxes:
1. Take action when life changes occur. Some
life events, like a change in marital status, the birth of a child or buying a
home, can change the amount of taxes you owe. When such events occur during the
year, you may need to change the amount of tax taken out of your pay. To do
that, you must file a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance
Certificate, with your employer. Use the IRS
Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. If you
receive advance payments of the premium tax credit it is important that you
in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your
Health Insurance Marketplace.
2. Keep records safe. Put your 2013 tax return
records in a safe place. That way if you ever need to refer to your return,
you’ll know where to find it. For example, you may need a copy of your return
if you apply for a home loan or financial aid. You can also use it as a guide
when you do next year's tax return.
3. Stay organized. Make sure your family puts
tax records in the same place during the year. This will avoid a search for
misplaced records come tax time next year.
4. Shop for a tax preparer. If you want to hire
a tax preparer to help you with tax planning, start your search now. Choose a
tax preparer wisely. You are responsible for the accuracy of your tax return no
matter who prepares it. Find tips for choosing a preparer at IRS.gov.
5. Think about itemizing. If you usually claim a
standard deduction on your tax return, you may be able to lower your taxes if
deductions instead. A donation to charity could mean some tax savings. See
the instructions for Schedule
A, Itemized Deductions, for a list of deductions.
6. Keep up with changes. Subscribe
to IRS Tax Tips to get emails about tax law changes, how to save money and much
more. You can also get Tips on IRS.gov or IRS2Go, the IRS’s mobile app. The IRS
issues tips each weekday in the tax filing season and three days a week in
Remember, a little planning now can pay off big at tax time next year.