September 30, 2013
While the end of the year may seem like it’s a long time from now, it’s only three short months away. When you factor in the hectic weeks of the coming holiday season, that really only leaves a few weeks to pull your tax information together to avoid the stress that being unprepared for tax season can bring.
Now is the time to think about what information you will need for the 2013 tax filing season and the steps you can take in the next few months to minimize your tax burden. To help you get a jumpstart on your end-of-year planning and organization, we’ve compiled the following tips.
Getting a head start on your taxes now will benefit you come tax time. Providing us with your documentation as early as possible will allow us to process your return sooner so you can receive any tax refund you may be eligible for more quickly. In addition, preparing now will also help you avoid the stress of scrambling for information with a looming tax deadline before you. And remember, we are always here to help. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
If you’re claiming deductions for business meals or auto expenses, expect the IRS to closely review them. In some cases, taxpayers have incomplete documentation or try to create records months (or years) later. In doing so, they fail to meet the strict substantiation requirements set forth under tax law. Tax auditors are adept at rooting out inconsistencies, omissions and errors in taxpayers’ records, as illustrated by one recent U.S. Tax Court case.
If you’ve ever yawned your way through a wordy, boring document, you might have wondered if your own writing was as hard to understand. Luckily, there’s a great tool to measure the readability of your writing, and it’s as close as your word processor. (Note: For this article, we use Microsoft Word as our example. Details will vary if you use another application.)
Over the past year, we’ve all spent more time than usual at home—which may mean you’ve paid more attention to your utility bills than in previous years. If you’ve noticed a creep upward, here are some easy ways to help keep your energy costs down.