Start planning 2012 return now
Organizing your financial information at the beginning of the year will make next year's tax return easier to prepare. Brush up on tax law, too.
This post is by Robert Flach of MainStreet.
You read it right: I said their 2012 tax return.
If you want to make 2012 "less taxing" it is important that you start the year off right. The first step is to resolve to become more informed on federal and state income tax laws. You cannot know the right moves to make in your daily financial ife without a basic knowledge of the tax implications of your actions.
Learn what you can, and cannot, deduct on your tax return, including the special items that are unique to your trade or profession, and the rules governing any special situations that apply to you, and keep up to date on federal and state tax law changes.
Even if you use a professional to prepare your return, the more informed you are on tax matters, the more prepared you will be when you go to your annual tax appointment. A good way to stay up to date on tax law changes is to check the Internal Revenue Service website every so often. Post continues after video.
Next, set up a good system for maintaining tax records and receipts, whether you use an accordion file or hanging folders. Some deductions require special recordkeeping or additional information, such as business meals and entertainment, business use of "listed property" such as cars and computers, gambling losses and charitable donations.
If you are financially able to do so, be sure to contribute the maximum amount to your employer's 401k, 403b or 457 pension plan. For 2012 the maximum you can contribute is $17,000, plus an additional $5,500 if you will be age 50 or older at the end of the year. Contributions to these plans will reduce your federal, and often state, taxable wages and therefore reduce your adjusted gross income.
More from MainStreet and MSN Money:
I like how they throw in the " Contribute the Maximum amount too the 401k" at the end?. Myself I have a pretax Roth Savings account. Saving the yearly receipts goes with out saying. Had my homes roof reshingled this year. Used "Energy Star" rated shingles. Guess what, the cost of the shingles will bring a tax credit. Last year did a wood burning stove. These little credits add up. I needed a roof any way, why not use the chance to get some money back at the same time.
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What are all the things you can file on taxes for itemized. I need a list if anyone can help. I know there is other things that I can file besides my house. But I need a list things that the government want tell you can file.
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