These are some tips I have observed after seeing friends and myself anguish in the last minute on tax filing preparation.
That's right folks. I have more than enough deductions from my rentals, real estate operations, meals, travel, ActiveRain subscriptions (!) And other business related expenses. What I need is more income. But, whether you are lucky to have a great income this past year or not, you still have to file as a good citizen.
Here are some last minute ideas to help save you from paying some of the last hard earned income:
a. Memory Plays Tricks. Do not rely on your short or long term memory to fill in the tax forms. You may live to regret it. You may in fact even underestimate the actual expenses. Get a shoe box, an iPhone app, or whatever it takes to keep good records.
b. Green is the new Thing. I was at a Build-It-Green trade show a week ago. There were handouts for tax credits for energy efficient appliances and also including energy efficient home heating and A / C equipment.
c. Do not spend it all now. When you are running through the year listening those decisions, be sure and set aside some amount for your tax liability. Hint: think of what you owed last year as a guide.
d. To Extend or Not to Extend. You can file an extension very easily, BUT, you still pay the amount owed by April 15. Then, the full paperwork tax forms can catch up in 6 months.
e. Be Proactive with your accountant or TurboTax software. Get some face time and start the process. I like to go through the TurboTax initial setup quickly, then refine and adjust. Do what's best for you, but DO IT sooner than later.
Do not say I did not warn you on April 14th at 10 pm!