February can be one of the hardest months to get through, as the winter blues set in and spring feels so far away. Coupled with the start of tax filing season, it can be a stressful time for many individuals. Dealing with the IRS and ensuring compliance with tax regulations can seem daunting. With a little preparation and a proactive approach, however, you can navigate the tax filing season with confidence.
Here are a few valuable tips to help you effectively deal with the IRS and make the tax filing process smoother.
Organize Your Documents: Start by gathering all the necessary documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, and receipts for deductible expenses. Having your financial records organized will save you time and help prevent errors or omissions on your tax return. Create a checklist of the required documents to ensure you have everything in order.
Understand Your Filing Obligations: Be aware of your filing obligations and deadlines. For most taxpayers, the deadline to file their personal federal tax return, pay any tax owed or request an extension to file is Monday, April 15, 2024.Taxpayers living in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2024, due to the Patriot’s Day and Emancipation Day holidays. If a taxpayer resides in a federally declared disaster area, they also may have additional time to file.1
Depending on your income level, filing status, and other factors, you may need to file certain forms or meet specific requirements.
Professional Guidance: If you are uncertain about specific tax laws, deductions, or credits, it is advisable to seek guidance from a qualified tax professional. They can provide valuable advice tailored to your unique circumstances and help optimize your tax situation. Professional assistance can also ensure compliance with changing tax regulations. Your Wealth Advisor is happy to facilitate an introduction to trusted tax professionals.
Check Retirement Contributions: Ensure you’re maximizing contributions to retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, which can offer tax advantages. You have until April 15, 2024, to contribute to your Traditional or Roth IRA and have it count as a 2023 contribution. It is important to note, however, that IRA contribution limits change from year to year and are subject to eligibility requirements. Your Wealth Advisor can discuss your individual situation and how you may qualify.
Double-Check for Accuracy: Accuracy is crucial when it comes to tax returns. Carefully review your tax forms, calculations, and personal information before submitting them to the IRS. Incorrect or incomplete information can lead to delays or potential audits.
Maintain Documentation: Keep copies of all filed tax returns, supporting documents, and correspondence with the IRS. Many of our clients use the Vault in WealthMap to store their documentation in one, secure and easily accessible place. Having well-organized records will help facilitate future filings, inquiries or audits. You should retain your tax records for at least three to seven years, depending on the complexity of your tax situation.
At Biondo Investment Advisors, we believe in the importance of having a comprehensive understanding of all the pieces of your financial situation. Together with your tax professional, our team can navigate a wide range of tax challenges while helping you achieve your long-term goals. For example, we can utilize WealthMap to project the tax implications of various retirement savings and distribution scenarios. We strive to achieve the optimal mix of investment growth and tax efficiency for our clients, based on individual needs. Hopefully, by adopting a proactive approach and taking some necessary steps, you can navigate this tax filing season with peace of mind.