To set yourself up for a successful and stress-free tax season, to ensure you hit the upcoming tax filing deadline, and get any IRS refund sooner, start getting ready now with these simple steps.Tax season IRS Refund www.freedigitalphotos.net

Break tax preparation tasks into small manageable parts so that they don’t seem so daunting.

Decide who is going to prepare your taxes. If it’s a professional, ask for a checklist of items they need from you. If it’s you or your spouse, check last year’s tax documents for a sense of the information you’ll need this year. (see Jeff Buffo’s post with this list here: How To Prepare for Tax Season 2016 )

Create a paper or electronic folder for tax-related documents, such as W-2 or 1099 forms, so that you can store them in one easy-to-find place. Make a checklist for all the items you’ll receive, so you know when everything has arrived.

Sort your receipts into categories and put the receipts for tax-deductible expenses — such as mortgage interest, charitable donations, childcare expenses, your FSA or HSA or other medical expenses — in a special file. If you have a home business, be sure to include relevant home maintenance, utility bill, business supply and parking receipts, as well as any other business expenses that may be tax deductible.

Sort your receipts into categories and put the receipts for tax-deductible expenses — such as mortgage interest, charitable donations, childcare expenses, your FSA or HSA or other medical expenses — in a special file. If you have a home business, be sure to include relevant home maintenance, utility bill, business supply and parking receipts, as well as any other business expenses that may be tax deductible.

Track your mileage for charitable or business activities, including date, distance and the organization or business partner you were working for, as the mileage may be tax deductible.

Total your paychecks. When you receive your W-2 or 1099 forms, check them against your records to verify the forms are accurate.

Shred non-tax documents that contain personal information, such as account or Social Security numbers, name, address, date of birth, etc., to help protect yourself against identify theft. Do retain documents that help determine the cost basis of assets, like your home or securities

Schedule time on your calendar or make an appointment with a professional to prepare your taxes. Given today’s busy lifestyles, this will help alleviate the stress of trying to find time last-minute.

After your tax forms are complete, make copies of them and any other pertinent information. Save this documentation in a safe place for at least seven years, or as directed by your tax preparer, in case you experience an audit.

To get a jump start on next year’s taxes, save your tax season checklist on the materials you needed this year and the steps you took to prepare them so you can repeat the process with ease. For additional advice, consult a tax professional.

This article is brought to you by guest writer:

Renovation Peter LevyPete Levy, ChFC, a  Financial  Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Woodstock, GA.  He offers fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 12 years. To contact him, call 770-591-7700 or visit his office at 345 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock, GA 30188.

Website is Ameripriseadvisors.com/peter.m.levy.

Investment advisory products and services are made available through
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser.

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC

© 2016 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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P.S. If you would like to get an assessment of your home’s value for any home in the Marietta real estate or Kennesaw real estate markets, call the Jeff Buffo Team today at 678-522-3850 or contact us here: Contact