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January 9, 2017 – It’s January– and in the accounting world, tax time will soon be underway. Whether you own a business or will file as an individual, leaving tax preparation until the eleventh hour can create disruptions to your business and unwanted stress. There is good news—with a little proactive planning and organization, your tax prep can be more pleasant than ever imagined. Jeanine Hemingway, CPA has compiled these helpful steps and tips that you can implement right away:

Collect: Starting in the next few weeks, tax documents will arrive in your mailbox. Collect and secure these documents in a safe place (W2s, 1099s, earned interested, etc.) such as a simple folder labeled 2016 Tax Documents.

(Other important documents include schedule of rental income, property taxes, charitable contributions, mileage logs, health care coverage.)

Contribute: If you have been pondering whether to contribute more dollars or even start a Roth or Traditional IRA, now is the time. You can contribute funds to your 401K and IRAs up until April 15th to count for 2016 savings and contributions. These contributions must be made before you file in order for your taxable income to decrease.

Charges: Look for obvious deductions. Our experienced tax advisors can explain what you can deduct.

Charitable Giving: If you donated money or items to any charities in 2016, try to have an itemized list or all the things you donated. Better yet, try to have all the receipts.

Changes: Did you get married this year? Have a child? Buy a home or start a business? Any significant changes should be kept in mind when filing. Again, we can shed light on how this impacts filing.

Counsel: How are you going to prepare your taxes? Depending on your situation, an experienced accountant with years of knowledge around the latest regulations and complex tax laws will be your best defense against filing errors and potentially not receiving your due refund.

Jeanine Hemingway, CPA has been helping Austin businesses and families since 2000 in all areas of accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation and filing. Start the process today! The earlier get a head start on your taxes will make life easier (and less costly) when the deadline arrives.

We Can Help!

The experts at Jeanine Hemingway, CPA look forward to helping you prepare and file your taxes this year. Contact us today for your checklist of items that will help you gather the tax information necessary for us to prepare your 2016 income tax returns. If there were any changes from 2015, let us know.