It’s that time of year again: Between late January and April, people gather their financial records and set out to do their income taxes. These tips can help make preparing your 2022 taxes easier to do.
Organize Your 2022 Tax Documents
An essential part of doing your taxes is ensuring you have all the appropriate documents. The more complicated your financial situation, the more paperwork you’ll have. As your tax documents start to come in, collect them in one place. Consider printing hard copies if you have a mix of physical and digital documents.
If you’re a Trailhead Credit Union member enrolled in eStatements, your 2022 tax documents can be found in Digital Banking. Otherwise, they will have been mailed to you.
Bonus tip: The IRS recommends keeping tax documents for at least seven years—if you haven’t already, consider creating a separate file box or cabinet just for your tax documents, just in case you need to reference something later.
Make One Last Contribution to Your 401(k) or IRA
Did you know that you have until April 18, 2023, to make any final contributions to your tax-deferred retirement account for the 2022 tax year? Not only is this a great way to max out your 2022 retirement fund contributions, but it’s a helpful way to ease your tax burden.
File as Soon as Possible
Don’t leave your 2022 taxes for the last minute. You want to give yourself plenty of time in case you need to get corrected documents from your employer, amend your tax return, apply for an extension, or create a payment plan if you owe the IRS. Plus, the sooner you do it, the sooner it’s over!
Bonus tip: Before filing your taxes (either on your own or with a professional’s help), ensure you have all your paperwork. It will make filing go smoother (and save you from having to submit an amendment).
Watch Out for Tax Scams
With so much money moving around and the popularity of online tax filing software on the rise, online tax scams are becoming more and more prevalent. Keep yourself safe by practicing good cyber security hygiene (such as using complicated passwords and 2-factor authentication for sensitive websites and keeping your computer and tax filing software updated).
Also, remember that the IRS will never ask you for personal or tax information via phone, text, email, or social media—so if you receive an email, a phone call, or a text message “from the IRS” about your tax filing, don’t click on any links or provide any information to the caller. Validate any claims on websites you know are legitimate.
Ask an Expert for Help
If preparing your taxes makes you squeamish, take heart—plenty of services are available to support you during tax season.
Trailhead members can receive special deals on tax preparation software like TurboTax® and H&R Block®. Both companies offer access to registered CPAs if you need extra guidance.