Ways to Organize for your Tax Return

Here’s a little background information – It’s 12/27/18 and there’s still just over 400 IRS forms, schedules, worksheets, publications, instructions, and revenue rulings expected but not released.

2018 has had three government shutdowns and are warning that tax season will get off to a late start – efile is expected to be allowed around 01.27 (how are 400+ documents to be released by 01.27 with a federal government shutdown currently in session?).

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the most significant change in the tax code since 1986 was signed on 12.23.17 but is not fully translated by the IRS. The last part of that bill implemented for the 2017 tax return was 03.23.18.

03.23.18 plus one week for IRS to update e-file programs as well as software providers and tax professionals. This makes the tax season about 15 days long.

2018 tax return season will be on a super tight deadline.

What can you do to help – get organized!

  1. Create a filing system to keep your tax documents organized –
    1. Expanding file folders are amazing!
      1. Amazon Basics – Expanding File Letter Size!
      2. Share the organizational skill with others – 10 pack expanding file folders for under $11!
    2. File folders work great too.
  2. Find a convenient location to keep your filing system and tax organizer
    1. Focus on the security of your SSN
    2. Keep away from sun or excessive light to prevent fading
    3. Avoid the kitchen counter top by the coffee maker 😊
  3. Visit your secured portal to download the necessary required forms –
    1. Complete these forms early and add to your file system
  4. Use your tax organizer as a check-list
    1. Check off each document as you receive it
  5. Highlight, bold, and underline these dates on your calendar
    1. February 15, 2019 – if you are missing documents by this date, call the providers and ask for status.
    2. Your tax appointment, portal and drop off assigned dates
    3. March 25, 2019 – this is the last date tax information can be provided to our office to guarantee the federal return is filed on time.
    4. April 15, 2019 – due date of the federal individual income tax return
    5. April 30, 2019 – due date of the Iowa individual income tax return.