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The 3 Most Important Tax Tips

By: Steve Johnson

4/10/2008 - 31 Comments

Income taxes are due on or before next Tuesday, April 15th.  This is the time to get your ducks in a row and your eggs in your basket.

1 - Take Care of Your Paperwork

Get a file cabinet and a fire proof safe to store all your important papers. Throughout the year, save all of your banking papers and donation receipts together so that you have them at tax time.  After filing your taxes, save your receipts and a copy of your tax papers in your safe for at least 7 years – just in case you are audited and need to prove your deductibles.

2 – Find a Good Accountant

A good accountant will save you more money they you pay them.  Meet with your accountant face-to-face and ask lots of questions. Tell your accountant about every change you have had over the last year that may have impacted your financials.  Ask about ways you can save money on your taxes.  Ask about new tax laws or changes and how they affect you.  Ask about deductions.  Do you have enough?  How much tax are you saving by investing in your 401k or college fund?  How about your business?

Starting a relationship with a good accountant early in your career can become a huge advantage as your income or business grows. Your tax liability will become more and more of a strategic part of your financial planning.

Reference Article: Don't miss out
Reference Article: 10 Often Overlooked Tax Breaks

3- Re-evaluate Your Portfolio, Retirement and Estate Planning

Every year, you should take a look at your investment portfolio and perhaps it’s time to sell the losers, take the profits from the winners and reinvest in the next market trend.  Retirement and estate planning need to be well thought out.  Too many people have put these off for too long.  The baby boomers currently have 75% of the wealth in America, which will get transferred to the next generation over the next 20-30 years.  Don’t let the government decide how to pass on your legacy. 

If you’re in your twenties, thirties or forties, then look at your monthly contributions – are they enough. Create a spreadsheet and calculate how much you will have at 65.  Change the contributions to see how much an increase today can effects the money you will have at retirement.

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