Get ready for tax season in 5 easy steps

Published on Mar 07, 2023

Get ready for tax season in 5 easy steps

When it comes to filing your taxes, it’s always smart to start sooner rather than later. But, while doing taxes may feel like a chore to avoid, a little preparation can reduce your workload later on and make filing your return that much easier. What’s even better: you might also receive your tax refund earlier.

Also, if you owe additional taxes, you’ll have more time to plan for the expense and avoid potential fines related to late filing. Fortunately, tax preparation is mostly about getting organized. So put your favorite show on pause—just for a bit—and let’s get ready for tax season. 

1. Determine if you’ll need tax preparation help

If you’ve worked for just one employer and your income source is pretty straightforward, then you should be able to file your tax return independently. However, some life changes can complicate your tax picture. Ask yourself, in the past year, have you:

If your financial situation has changed because of any of the above, you may consider hiring a tax professional. Also, consider reaching out sooner rather than later. The closer it gets to the tax filing deadline (usually on or around April 15), the less likely a CPA firm or tax preparation company will have the bandwidth to help.

2. Gather your income records

Part of preparing for tax season is ensuring you have the right information ready. This means collecting documents that show your 2022 income and expenses. The Internal Revenue Service recommends having the following documents handy before you file:

3. Track potential deductions or credits

In addition to your income, you also want to report any deductions or tax credits that may reduce the amount of overall taxes you owe. As you prepare to file your taxes, collect records of the following expenses:

You can add up your deductions to determine whether itemizing your deductions or taking the standard deduction makes the most sense for you. The above documents can help you understand how many deductions you may receive.

4. Double-check your personal information

This one may seem easy, but it’s extremely important. You want to make sure your personal information associated with your taxes is accurate—otherwise, this can cause delays or raise questions with the IRS. The personal information you’ll want to check includes:

5. Be on the lookout for tax scams

Scammers take advantage of tax season to access taxpayers’ personal information, tax refunds, and financial accounts. The IRS advises taxpayers to be aware of email and phone scams and spot the telltale signs. For example, the IRS will never: 

Tax season may not be your favorite season. But you can make it less stressful by preparing what you need for your tax return in advance. You’ll be able to file that much sooner and have earlier access to any refunds coming your way. 

Download Valley Bank’s mobile app to ensure you have financial and bank account information at  your fingertips for next tax season.




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Financial Planning

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