April will be here sooner than you think, which means it’s time to focus on tax planning. But first, it’s essential to know what tax planning is and how to do it efficiently.
Investopedia defines tax planning as:
“Logical analysis of a financial situation or plan from a tax perspective, to align financial goals with tax efficiency planning. The purpose of tax planning is to discover how to accomplish all of the other elements of a financial plan in the most tax-efficient manner possible. Tax planning thus allows the other elements of a financial plan to interact more effectively by minimizing tax liability.”
So what does that mean? Basically, tax planning is organizing your financial affairs in order to reduce your taxes as much as possible.
Of course, everyone’s finances are different, and therefore their tax preparation will require different forms and information. The IRS has plenty of tools to help you determine what you’ll need.
This checklist will tell you common forms and information you should have on hand. That may include:
-Prior tax returns
-Recent investment statements
-Recent 401k or other tax-deferred savings plan statements
-All information pertaining to any currently owned individual retirement accounts (IRSs)
-Info about current pension plans
-Current life, long-term care and disability insurance policies
-Recent statements from all mortgages
-A list of any debt balances and corresponding interest rates
Of course, the easiest way to prepare for filing your taxes is to speak with a professional tax preparer. They can help you regardless of your financial situation. Check out all the services that tax planners can offer.