Steps to Take Now to Make Filing Your Income Taxes Easier



By Molly McCluskey

In mid-April, shortly after the income tax filing deadline for millions of Americans, we encouraged readers to begin planning for their 2015 return. Here’s another timely reminder, and this one is especially worth heeding: Steps you take between now and the end of the year can dramatically reduce your income tax burden in April and beyond.
If you’ve been planning all along, you’re in good shape. But if you need an extra jolt, now’s the time to set up an organization system (put it on your holiday wish list!), review your withholdings or research charities for end-of-year donations. Planning now can help you avoid costly mistakes.
First and foremost, Cari Weston, senior technical manager on the American Institute of CPAs tax staff, recommends dusting off last year’s paperwork.
“Pull out last year’s return and see which items were used for preparing the return, because that’s going to be your starting point for this year’s return,” she says. “Create a list of all the things you’ll need, and keep track of them as they all come in.”
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