While hints of spring begin to appear, there is much to look forward to with warmer weather, blossoming foliage, and longer days on the horizon. However, spring also means it’s tax time. With this year’s filing deadline of Tuesday, April 17th, it’s time to get organized and start working on those returns. Here are a few last minute tax tips to help you stay on track and (hopefully) minimize your tax burden.

Max Out Contributions

You have until the tax filing deadline (4/17/2018) to make some contributions that could lower your tax bill. You should be sure and max out your contributions to the following:

  • Self-employed 401(k)
  • IRA
  • Health Savings Account

Gather and Organize Mail and Forms

Hopefully you’ve been setting aside your tax documents as they’ve been arriving in the mail. Sort through what you have received and make sure you have all the relevant documentation you will need. This documentation includes, but is not limited to: income statements, investment income statements, state and local tax refunds, unemployment payments, alimony, rental property income, IRA and pension distributions, and more. If you are missing anything, contact the appropriate party and request your documents.

Collect and Organize Receipts

If you’ve been throwing your business expense receipts into a shoebox, now is the time to get them organized. One simple method that will make it easier to add up expenses is to sort receipts by expense category, such as travel related expenses, office supplies, etc.

Collect and Verify Social Security Numbers

You will have to provide social security numbers for all dependents on your tax return. The IRS has gotten more careful about checking dependent information, so don’t let a number-error hold up your return. Make sure you have the social security numbers and they’re entered correctly on your return.

Verify Dependents if Divorced

In a divorce situation, only one of the parents can claim a child as a dependent on their tax return. The IRS has been looking much more closely at this scenario to make sure that both parents are not claiming the same child as a dependent. So, communicate and make sure you agree on which tax return will list your child as a dependent.

Reach Out to Your Tax Preparer

If you want assistance, make a quick call to make an appointment or just let your tax professional know that you will be using their services. The quicker you get going on the process, the more time you’ll give yourself to prepare and organize so that April 17, 2018 can just be another nice spring day to enjoy.