Tax Tips

WSVN — It’s time once more to sit down around that dinner table and start talking taxes.

Peter Berg: “Tax season is… causes a little anxiety.”

That anxiety is shared by many leading up to the tax deadline on Apr. 15, but experts say the key to staying stress-free is organization.

Sheri Schultz: “Organize yourself, plan early, and then it’s very simple.”

First things first, gather all of your paperwork.

Sheri Schultz: “What you should be doing now is collecting your tax documents. Your 1099s, your W-2s, all your receipts, anything that you think can be deductible.”

You can print out a tax checklist or just use last year’s return as a guide.

Be aware: a lot of important tax documents come in the mail at the beginning of the year.

Peter Berg: “I get a lot of paperwork in January that I then compile and actually use that to get prepared, say in March, when I go to the accountant to do the taxes.”

There are also things you can write off ahead of the tax deadline.

Sheri Schultz: “One of the things they can still do in January is contribute to their IRA.”

Making deductible contributions to your retirement account will help lower your tax bill and fund your future.

Don’t forget about your work with charity during the holidays.

Sheri Schultz: “Anything you do for charity, if you’re driving, you can take mileage. If you give away non-cash items and it’s over $500.”

Remember, the cash donations, as well; even if you haven’t paid that credit card bill yet.

Sheri Schultz: “You don’t pay your bill until January, you can still take the deduction for 2013.”

Other common things forgotten.

Sheri Schultz: “You can claim medical expenses, the insurance premiums that you paid, eye glasses, miles to the doctor is also deductible. If you have to buy books for work, magazines, periodicals, any miscellaneous expense that’s used for the production of income is deductible.”

Because of the government shutdown earlier this year, tax season is a little delayed.

Sheri Schultz: “You can’t even file your return until after Jan. 28, at the earliest, and it may be as late as Feb. 3.”

Just take a deep breath and get your taxes done early.

Sheri Schultz: “Don’t be afraid of tax time. It’s something we all have to do every single year. It’s really not difficult.”

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