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Top Tax and Financial Resolutions for 201412.31.13

Tax season is here and you are getting ready to do your 2013 tax return. It's also a great time to start thinking about this tax year. Here are some tips to implement now so your tax return will flow even more smoothly next year:

Track deductible mileage:

Keep a logbook with total beginning and ending miles on a vehicle for the year. Include the miles driven for charitable works; visits to doctors, hospital, medical facilities and to fill/refill prescriptions; and don’t forget to include any work related miles.

Track charitable donations:

Keep a list of the items, and their condition, donated to charities. The list should include the date, the charity and the fair market value of each item. Also keep receipts of all monetary donations, including add-ons at the store such as toys during the holidays, school supplies before the start of school, and food for the various food drives during the year.

Set up a filing system:

Use envelopes, file folders, or even a shoe box – whatever works for you – and put all your work-related, medical related, or charity related receipts for 2014 in the folder. Include a place to put your daycare receipts, your final paycheck stub from any job, any early W-2s and 1099s and any other income or deduction related information. This will make your 2014 filing even easier and stress free. Just keep it simple so you’ll use it.

Set aside money for retirement:

Contribute to your employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan. If you are already contributing to one, increase your contribution. Not only does this help you plan for your future a little at a time, it can lower your taxable income today.

Adjust as your life changes:

Check your tax pulse periodically throughout the year, especially if you have any life changes such as a new child, marriage or divorce, a child who moves out, or a parent who moves in with you.

Keep healthcare in sync with your life:

If you are receiving your health insurance through the Marketplace and eligible for the advanced premium credit and/or premium assistance, make sure you notify the Marketplace anytime you have a change in income or family size. You don’t want to pay back any excess credit when you file your tax return and you received too much in advanced credit during the year.

By spending a few minutes of your time now, you can have a smooth, stress free tax filing in 2014, without any surprises.

Want more tips on preparing for the coming year? Your local Jackson Hewitt Tax Pro is always happy to help.