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Tax Time: Be Prepared

As the current tax season comes to a close, now is the time to think about next year while it is still fresh in your mind. Lucky you if you are getting a check from Uncle Sam this year. Those who are sending a check need to adjust so it does not happen again. Even if you did not have to send a check to the IRS this year you should be aware that recent changes may mean you’ll be in for a shock next year. You should check to see if you are having enough withheld from your pay (or if your estimated tax payments are sufficient). More on this in a bit.

It is very important that you are organized. Keep your receipts in one place, and preferably organized on a spreadsheet or other form of bookkeeping system. Know your tax laws if you are a small business and will be able to deduct for having a home office or personal car that is used for business. If you are a family, can you claim childcare? Do you have student loans or provide for an elderly family member?

Whether or not you had to send a check to the IRS this year, you can take steps now to make sure you won’t have to next year. Employers were required to change withholding amounts during the first part of this year due to the recent stimulus package. You may not be having enough withheld and can instruct your employer to withhold additional funds from each paycheck. There is a worksheet on page 22 of IRS Publication 919 that will help you calculate what you should withhold. Check it out at There is also a very simple to use withholding calculator which can be found at,,id=96196,00.html.

No matter what your situation, be organized so you are not caught in a crunch next year. If you need help, get it now while everything is still fresh in your mind and you do not have a massive pile of papers to go through. Find a good accountant to help you or get in touch with a Virtual Assistant and have her set up a QuickBooks account for you. QuickBooks Online is a free service and is very secure.

Here’s hoping next tax season is a pleasant one for you.

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  1. […] Original post by pamh53 […]

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