Here are Ten Basic Tips to Help Reduce Stress During Tax Season

Real Estate Agent with Piedmont Real Estate 0225202286

This morning I met with my tax consultant Diana in Midlothian Virginia,  a community within Chesterfield County.  As one of her loyal clients for nearly 20 consecutive years, I'm just amazed how well she can keep up with changing tax laws.  I would recommend her to anyone who has a small business in the Richmond Virginia area.  She's exceptionally knowledgable and highly ethical, and she usually will reply to a tax question via email either the same day or within 24 hours.


Although I personally have no certifications in professional tax preparation, I believe there are some basic common sense tax tips that many of us likely already know.  As a regular taxpayer myself, I know from experience some things to do to help tax preparation be easier and less stressful.  Here are 10 basic tips that I've learned by experience through the years, and maybe you yourself have some tips you would like to share, also.


Ten Basic Tax Tips Based on Personal Experience


1) Keep organized records, and save your itemized deduction receipts.  Make a handwritten note on the receipt, if necessary, to help remember details about the business expense that can be forgotten later.  For example, for a business meal with someone, write down the name of that person and the business topic during that meal.


2) Use a spreadsheet software to keep a running total of business expenses.  Using spreadsheets sure helped me save a lot of time!


3) Separate your business expenses by deduction category.


4) Make quarterly estimated tax payments, if necessary, to avoid potential tax penalties.


5) File your federal tax returns on time, or early when feasible to do so--- especially when any refund(s) are anticipated.  Contact your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) for further information.


6) Ask your tax specialist or CPA about any recent changes in the tax laws that could be financially advantageous or detrimental for your particular situation.


7) When possible, make tax deductible monetary donations to charitable organizations or non-profits you trust and use checks, credit or debit cards as a good way to record those donations.


8) Learn about any special state and federal programs that could help reduce total income tax liability.


9) In general, maintain tax return information and deduction receipts for at least seven years.  The IRS lists other specific suggestions for keeping tax records on its website.


10)  Keep receipts and invoices for home improvements and any mortgage interest statements.  Some of these receipts could be helpful later in reducing tax liability when that home is sold!


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Posted by

Andrew Payne, Realtor®

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

PenFed Realty

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2737 McRae Road

N. Chesterfield, VA  23235

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Comments (5)

Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Great list here Andrew, many should be reading this post!

Feb 26, 2014 04:01 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Andrew. This is a wonderful guideline for being ready with tax stuff and getting through it without, or at least minimal, stress. Suggested.

Feb 26, 2014 07:49 PM
Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Piedmont Real Estate - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green

It's good to have feedback from you two above.  Hopefully, you both have finished your 2013 taxes or are well on your way to completion!

Feb 26, 2014 09:43 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice. You could add that taxpayers will be much more comfortable if they actually report all of their income.

Feb 27, 2014 04:45 AM
Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Piedmont Real Estate - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green

Yes, I would agree with you Roy!  Maybe our national debt would be cut in half when everyone does that!

Feb 27, 2014 07:02 AM