Tax season is finally behind us, and now taxpayers and tax professionals alike can finally breathe a sigh of relief. While we can all appreciate the end of this stressful season, we should also consider what we can do to make sure next year’s tax season is as stress-free as possible. To help both taxpayers and tax preparers, we’ve put together this list of our top spring cleaning tax tips. Take a look at these tips and consider what you can do now to make next year’s tax season a breeze.
Spring Cleaning for Tax Preparers
Create Next Year’s Tax Schedule Now
Are you a that found yourself overwhelmed or burned out this tax season? You can fight tax season burn out with a little extra preparation. First, decide when you would need to get all your clients’ documents to prepare their taxes with plenty of time to spare. Then, mark that date in your calendar and create a plan to make sure all your clients know about your deadline.
Additionally, if you don’t already have a rush fee for late documents, you should consider implementing one for next year. Surcharges for late documents not only discourage clients from being late, but also make working under more demanding time restraints feel a bit more worth it.
Set Up Client Reminders
Setting up client reminders using an automated mailing service is an excellent way to both remind your clients that you’re there for them and to help them get their documents to you on time. Here are some reminders you should consider sending to your clients: the end of the fiscal year, the documents you’ll require from them this tax season, when they’ll need to get their documents to you, and weekly reminders of your deadline leading up to the date.
Consider Updating Your Technology
If you weren’t totally happy with the technology you used this tax season, now’s the perfect time to consider an update. If you update now, you’ll have plenty of time to get used to your new technology by next tax season, so you won’t experience learning pains when you’re swamped with work.
You can consider switching the technology you currently use, or consider trying more digital document sharing services if you don’t already.
Spring Cleaning for Taxpayers
Set Yourself Reminders
The good thing about tax season is that it’s consistent every year. So, if you found yourself scrambling to get your taxes done this year, you can plan ahead now to avoid feeling stressed next year.
Set yourself reminders of the tax deadline (which will be on April 15th of next year) and when you should start getting your documents in order. The exact date taxes can be submitted can vary per year, but a general rule of thumb is that you’ll be able to submit them to the IRS by the end of January. So, set yourself a reminder to check in early February: do you have all your documents in order? Are you ready to file?
It’s also an excellent idea to prepare to file early next year. Whether you’re filing on your own or using the service of a tax preparer, getting ahead of your taxes can help you avoid missing documents, making mistakes on your return, and feeling stressed about the deadline.
Organize Your Documents
This spring is the perfect time to get your tax documents in order. This is especially true for those who think they’ll make a lot of itemized deductions next year. If you’ll need receipts, copies of invoices, records of miles driven, or any other kinds of documentation, now’s the time to create a system to store your documents and organize financial documents you should keep.
You could get a file folder to keep important documents in or consider using an app. However you choose to organize your documents, it’s best to start keeping thorough records now, so you won’t have to scramble come tax time.
Do you have any questions about this or next year’s taxes? Feel free to contact one of our tax experts and start taking charge of your taxes today.