Tax season part one: The Gathering

Tax season part one: The Gathering

Tax season is almost upon us. Usually January is the only time of year I open every piece of mail that comes to me, because you never know when an envelope will contain some form of tax document. Usually they are marked with “tax document enclosed”, but some places (like my mortgage company) have chosen in the past to not mark them, or Mr. Savvy’s employer, who sent a tax notice about due payments in a special, un-marked mailing.

January is also a good time to make lists. List your employers (especially if you’ve had more than one), your mortgages, your brokerage accounts, your savings and checking accounts, your student loans…. List your charitable contributions, your unreimbursed work-related expenses, childcare expenses, tuition, medical expenses, property taxes, home office expenses, professional dues and fees… everything you need to do your taxes.

Check things off when you get the paperwork, check them off again when you add them to your tax return. If you do your taxes on paper (even just to double-check your software) this helps you get the correct forms ready, and it also helps you know when you have all the documents ready to begin. This list is also good for double-checking your tax return when you are done to make sure you included everything.

I’ve been doing Mr. Savvy’s taxes for a few years, but this year will be our first year filing jointly… which means we lose a lot of the tax advantages of years’ past (me itemizing with the house, him taking the standard deduction). Hopefully it won’t hurt too bad. I plan on using H&R Block’s TaxCut Online program for the fourth time. It is just so easy and convienent that I don’t even want to try other programs.

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