By Barbara Pronin
Even before you file your 2013 tax returns, say finance experts, you should be thinking about tax moves you can make right now to keep you organized and prepared for the next tax year:
- Set up your 2014 tax file – Label an expandable file, so you have a specific place to store your 2014 records and receipts. The sooner you start filing them away, the less likely you are to be frantically searching when tax time rolls around again.
- Set up your 2014 tax calendar – Individuals can use IRS Publication 509 to pinpoint quarterly tax and other deadlines for the year. (Businesses can refer to the IRS Small Business Calendar showing the 2014 due dates.)
- Update your address – If you moved during 2013, update your address with everyone who may be sending you tax-related documents: Former employers, banks, lenders, brokerages, the IRS and your state tax agency, plus clients, investments, trusts, and the like. Homeowners using a P.O. Box or other address to receive mail should also do something to establish your home address as your principal residence, such as update voter registration or driver’s license address.
- Update name changes – New brides generally remember to change their names on driver’s licenses and paychecks, but often forget to notify the Social Security Administration. You won’t be able to e-file your tax return with your new name if it doesn’t match the Social Security Record.
- Get Social Security Numbers – Did you have a new baby in 2013? Did your spouse get a Green card? File applications for their ID numbers now. It can take months to get them issued.
- Get a special IRS PIN – Tax identity theft was a huge problem last year. Were you a victim? Contact the IRS and have them issue you a special IP PIN (identity protection personal identification number). Notifying the IRS about an identity theft will flag your account. Once the IP PIN is issued to you, no one will be able to file a tax return under your Social Security Number and generate a phony refund.
- File a new W-4 with your employer. – Update your withholding so you don’t find yourself short next year – or with more of a refund than necessary. Use the IRS withholding calculator to determine the correct amount to withhold.