It’s never too early to think about your income taxes

Published 12:04 am Sunday, October 27, 2013

In just a couple of short months we will close out 2013 and welcome a new year.

In doing so, we will also begin a mad rush to file our income taxes. Do not get caught waiting until April 14 to gather the information needed to file your return.

Here are a few tips to get your information better organized for the upcoming year.

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Review your prior year tax return and make a list of the items that you expect to have again in the current year.

Add to the list any new items that you expect to receive as well. A change in jobs will bring a new W-2; a new bank account will likely result in a new 1099; and a new mortgage will bring a new 1098.

Check each item off of the list as it is received. All of the documents should be in hand near the end of February, but there are always stragglers.

Did you itemize your deductions in the prior year, or do you expect to in the current year?

Again, make a list of items you expect to receive and start gathering your receipts early.

Keep in mind however, that as part of the Affordable Care Act, your un-reimbursed medical expenses must now exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income instead of the previous 7.5 percent.

This increased threshold will not apply to those 65 and older until 2016.

Remember that the credit for energy improvements, such as central air conditioners and replacement windows, was extended until 2013 as well. Check with the installer or manufacturer to see if the improvements qualify.

Excellent organization and document retention is key to a smooth return preparation.

It may help to organize this information on a monthly basis as you reconcile bank statements.

Keep separate folders or envelopes of the different categories of expenses to aid in the organization of receipts and invoices.

If you are interested in learning more, or wish to hear some other suggestions, please contact me, and I will be happy to assist you.


Moses C. Ard is a certified public accountant at Silas Simmons, LLP in Natchez.