A tax return can be a complicated puzzle with many pieces required to complete it. With that in mind, start by simply gathering and organizing all the forms, tax documents, and statements you have for the year. Then, separate them into categories such as “income,” “deductions,” and “miscellaneous.”
Have last year’s tax return handy
While things can certainly change from one year to the next — maybe your marital status is different, you’ve had a child, or you’ve started a side business, often much remains the same. Having last year’s return handy allows you to review and compare that document with the one you’re preparing to make the process a bit easier.
Max out your retirement contributions
Saving for retirement is always a good idea, but it’s particularly wise when it reduces your taxable income. If you haven’t contributed to an individual retirement account (IRA) you have until April 15, 2020 to do so and it could still affect your 2019 taxable income, subject to IRS rules.
Consider hiring a professional
No one wants to pay more than they should. While using a software program like Turbo Tax can be helpful, many individuals miss valuable tax credits and deductions that can cost them money. Having a professional prepare your taxes gives you peace of mind that your return is being done right, and in the rare case of an audit, have someone ready to represent them.