With the upcoming New Year, tax season is about to begin. For the first time ever, you’ll have to report your health insurance status on your returns. Whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or are working with someone else to handle the math, there are a number of factors to take into consideration to ensure you maximize your refund come April. Here are a few steps to take right away:
- Estimate your bill. If you have an accountant, he or she can help you do this, but online estimators are also available to help. Try companies like H&R Block or TurboTax to learn whether you should start saving now for a large bill in the spring. By estimating your bill early, you can also make some changes before it’s too late, allowing you to reduce the amount owed.
- Put money into retirement. One excellent way to lower your tax bill is to put money into an IRA or to put a little extra into your 401(k). These accounts are both tax-deductible.
- Give to charities. What causes are most important to you? If you want to support your local no-kill shelter or soup kitchen, now is a great time to make a tax-deductible donation. With an estimate of your tax bill, you can figure out how much of a difference a charitable gift will make on your return.
There are many resources available online and with personal accountants. It’s never too soon to think about your taxes – especially if you know you can max out your return.