Tax Tips: How To Plan And Make A Checklist For This Year

We'll explain and give the best tax tips and show how to plan and make a checklist for your taxes this year with a top preparation guide.

By Claudio Pires
Updated on November 20, 2023
Tax Tips: How To Plan And Make A Checklist For This Year

Tax season is one of the busiest times of the year for everyone. And when you have so much to do, it is understandable that you would forget the deadlines until it is just a day away, or worse, you only remember it on the deadline itself. In this article, we’ll explain and give the best tax tips and show how to plan and make a checklist for your taxes this year with a top preparation guide.

Although it is a very tedious task and requires a lot of preparation, most people can still file their taxes on time. However, there are also those people who need the help of certified public accountants to get their documents ready and filed in time for the deadline. Although hiring the help of an accountant to prepare and file your taxes would cost you a few dollars, it is better than being fined by the government for failing to file taxes or for submitting them late.

Tax Tips: The Checklist

If you don’t want to be late in filing for your taxes ever again, here are some tips that can help you achieve that goal:

Make sure that your information is correct

Before you start making checklists, ensure your employer has all the correct information about you first. For example, your address must be up to date. If you have moved recently, ensure that your company’s HR is aware and that the necessary change in address is reflected on your profile. This is important because some tax documents are delivered to the home address reflected in your employer’s records.

If you have recently married or had any other changes that you believe would be important and can affect your tax returns, ensure they are also reflected in your profile. It is essential that all information about you is in sync and is correct.

Make a list of all the taxes you must file and their deadlines.

Knowing what tax returns to file and when they are due is essential so you never have to be fined for filing late ever again. To prevent this from happening, make sure you know the pertinent information. You can use Google Sheets and sync them in your calendar. As a result, these are great tips on the tax checklist.

Set your calendar to remind you of the deadlines a week or two before the deadline so you have enough time to prepare. This is especially true if you have a business and you have to take care of your tax returns as well.

Ensure you get enough time to take care of and input information on all the documents. If you need any supporting documents, make sure you have them as well.

Secure all documents you need

Some documents for your tax filing are with you before January 31. If these documents have not arrived for you by then, then you have to follow up in their office or get it straight from the source with a tax preparation checklist..

You can go to the Internal Revenue Services website and download the pertaining documents from there. You can also choose to have the documents mailed to your address. If you would instead pick up your documents. Their website also has a page telling you where to pick them up. You have to choose which location is nearest to you on how to plan and make taxes.

Keep receipts for documentation: Tax tips checklist

Keeping receipts is one of the most important things you should do all year round. This is probably not the first time that you have filed for taxes. You already know that keeping receipts and documentation is vital.

Documents and receipts will be necessary. Ensure you put the correct amount for documentation in your tax returns. Receipts for purchases or expenses that qualify as deductibles will also be easier to remember. Once you have the actual receipt on how to plan and make taxes.

Know what deductions apply to you

It seems that the laws on tax are constantly changing, especially with tax deductions and how they may apply to everyone. Thus, it is vital to keep up with the changes in the law and how they apply to you.

For example, these days, you can itemize your deductibles, but you can also make use of the standardized deduction system. You can choose which filing status category you belong to and use. They set the standard amount deductible in your annual gross income.

Tax Tips Checklist Extras

  1. Understand Your Tax Bracket: Research which tax bracket you fall into this year. Knowing your bracket helps estimate your tax liability and plan deductions more effectively.
  2. Gather All Necessary Documents: Make a comprehensive list of all required documents such as W-2s, 1099s, investment income statements, and any documents related to deductions or credits.
  3. Maximize Retirement Contributions: Consider increasing contributions to your retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s or IRAs, which can reduce your taxable income.
  4. Utilize Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Contribute to a Health Savings Account if eligible. Contributions are tax-deductible, and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free with a tax preparation checklist.
  5. Keep Track of Deductible Expenses: Maintain a record of all potential deductible expenses like charitable donations, medical expenses, and business expenses if self-employed.
  6. Understand Tax Credits: Familiarize yourself with tax credits you may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, or Education Credits, which can reduce your tax bill on how to plan and make taxes.

More Ideas

  1. Consider Itemizing Deductions: If your deductions exceed the standard deduction, consider itemizing to maximize your tax savings following the tax tips checklist.
  2. Plan for Tax Liabilities or Refunds: Based on your current income and deductions, estimate whether you’ll owe taxes or expect a refund. Adjust your withholdings if necessary to avoid underpayment penalties.
  3. Seek Professional Advice: If your tax situation is complex. Consider consulting a tax professional who can provide tailored advice and help maximize your savings.
  4. Stay Informed About Tax Law Changes: Tax laws can change annually. Stay informed about new tax laws or changes that could affect your tax planning.
  5. Review and Adjust Quarterly Taxes: If you’re self-employed or have additional income (like from investments), review and adjust your quarterly tax payments to avoid penalties.
  6. Utilize Tax Software or Apps: Leverage technology to make tax filing easier. Many software programs offer guided assistance and can help identify additional deductions.
  7. Plan for Next Year: Use this year’s tax experience to better plan for next year. Consider adjusting withholdings or making estimated tax payments to improve your tax situation.
  8. Document Charitable Contributions: Keep a detailed record of all charitable contributions. Including cash and non-cash donations, as they can be valuable deductions.
  9. Understand the Impact of Life Changes: Be aware of how life changes. Such as marriage, divorce, or having a child, impact your tax situation and plan accordingly.

Tax Tips Checklist Conclusion:

Although filing taxes is a tiresome task, it is worth remembering that it is quite necessary. You have to comply with it and make sure that you file your tax returns correctly. As a result, with the correct information, you won’t need to audit with a tax preparation checklist.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.