1. Adjust your withholding. Why let the IRS have an interest free loan all year? If you typically receive a large refund, why not adjust your withholding so that you have access to those funds throughout the year instead of waiting until 2013 to receive those funds.
2. Review your paycheck. Make sure your employer is properly withholding and reporting your retirement contributions, & health insurance payments. Shannon is the paycheck queen in our office and I frequently hear her frustrations as she finds yet another payroll company not tracking these expenses correctly. You should check them on a quarterly basis or at least once a year, particularly after you make a change.
3. Store your return in a safe place. Put your 2011 return and supporting documents in a safe place so you know exactly where they are when the IRS comes calling. We have found that most of our client’s prefer a PDF to save on their computer. The paper one takes up space and frequently gets lost. Check to see if your accountant offers a PDF copy.
4. Organize your 2012 recordkeeping. Set up a file for your 2012 tax related records. It can be as simple as a manila envelope that you stuff the dreaded documents in or an organized accordion pocket file folder. If you set it up now it saves you from sifting through a year’s worth of paper in April.
5. Shop for a tax professional. You have more time now to find one who is willing to answer your questions and work with you than you will when you are up against a deadline. So if you weren’t satisfied with your TurboTax experience or your last tax professional start looking for one now. I think you’ll be surprised with how little it actually costs once you factor in your time spent trying to decide just what Turbo Tax is asking you.