Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Tax Tips for All Life Stages: Preparation Is Vital for Less Stress at Tax Time #LSSS

Does anybody like doing taxes? I’m betting that for most of you, whether you’ve been paying income taxes for years or are just getting started, filing your tax forms is a dreaded task. Even if you don’t prepare them yourself, you have to be ready to hand over the proper documentation to your accountant or tax specialist. Following are some tips for staying well-organized throughout the year.

Tip: Store your documents online in the Master Lock Vault!

The Master Lock Vault is a free, digital safe deposit box that provides a safe and secure solution for storing copies of important tax documents for easy access from any smart phone or computer. And when you register by April 16 for the Master Lock Vault here, you become eligible for a chance to win one of five $1,000 prizes in the Master Lock Tax Relief Reward Sweepstakes!

Tip: Store paper documents in a water- and fire-proof box.

If you haven’t stored copies of your important documents in the Master Lock Vault, you may find yourself in deep water if your paper documents are destroyed by a flood or fire. That’s why it’s important to store them in a container that is water- and fire-proof. Watch the video below for my recommendation of the SentrySafe GB20L Guardian Storage Box.

Tip: If you got married or divorced last year, make sure you’ve filed any name and/or address changes with the Social Security Administration and IRS.

Also, let your employer know so they can properly report your income and taxes withheld.

Tip: Seek out possible deductions and credits you may qualify for based on your stage of life. 

For example:
Recent college graduates: You may qualify for a deduction if you’re paying off student loans or a credit if you’re pursuing higher education.
Newlyweds: Filing jointly may result in more benefits than filing singly.
Parents: Take advantage of the Child Tax Credit, and don’t forget to see if you qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit if you pay for childcare.
Seniors: You may qualify for the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. And look for free tax services, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program.

Tip: Don’t procrastinate!

Nobody wants to be faced with a huge pile of paperwork to sort and/or scan in April. Pick a day each month throughout the year to go through all of the documents you’ve put aside and sort them into electronic and/or paper files. I know, it’s still not fun to do every month, but think how happy you’ll be at tax time when you can easily find everything and don’t have to spend hours or days looking for what you need!

When you follow the tips above this year, you’ll find that the usual pit in your stomach will be much smaller next year when it comes to tax time! Resolve that this will be the year you’ll get super organized, especially with the help of Master Lock and SentrySafe products.

Disclaimer: As a blogger in Master Lock’s Live Secure Safety Squad, I receive compensation and product samples to facilitate my reviews and posts. However, all opinions are 100% my own.


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