Probably the concluding thing yous want to call up well-nigh when y’all’ve just filed your taxes for 2021 is your 2022 taxes. Fifty-fifty if your prep for the past revenue enhancement twelvemonth went well, it’s nice to non worry virtually taxes for a while. But as the overused cliché goes, income revenue enhancement preparation should exist a marathon, non a sprint. It’s something you should be thinking about and planning for all year.
Now is the perfect time to starting time, while this by year’s tax bug are yet fresh in your mind. Afterwards all, your current financial activities affect your returns next spring. And you want them to accept the right kind of touch, if possible.
If you haven’t filed your taxes notwithstanding, you’d better become on it. If you lot’re not able to make the April 18, 2022, deadline, y’all tin at least file for an extension. That said, the IRS expects yous to pay at least a portion of what you’ll owe when you file for an extension.
Whether you’ve filed for the 2021 tax yr or not, here are vii means to keep income taxes in the back of your listen all yr, with practical tips that tin help make your tax experience next year a little more pleasant.
1. Larn How Life Events Affect Your Taxes
Major events in your life are likely to affect your 2022 taxes, sometimes in a large manner. For example, if you lot go married or divorced, have a baby or adopt a kid, or if a spouse or dependent dies or moves away from your home, your filing status and tax benefit eligibility can change.
Similarly, starting a college career, buying a home, or joining the ranks of the unemployed volition alter the way you complete your 2022 1040. If you know alee of fourth dimension what touch on these events could take, you might be able to brand adjustments in other areas of your financial profile. The IRS has a helpful page nigh life events(Opens in a new window)
that you lot should consult for more specific guidance.
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ii. Check if You lot Should Change Your Withholdings or Pay Estimated Taxes
If y’all’re a W-2 employee, consider the outcome of your 2021 taxes. Did you get a large refund? Or did you have to pay a pregnant amount? If either is the case, you should remember about changing your withholding, especially if you lot’ve experienced or will experience one or more than of the life events listed higher up. The IRS Tax Withholding Estimator(Opens in a new window)
may exist helpful here. You lot’ll accept to fill out a new form W-four(Opens in a new window)
to change your withholding condition.
If you are or will exist self-employed for the get-go time in 2022, you lot’ll demand to estimate how much y’all will owe in taxes every quarter based on your income and expenses for each period and send that amount to the IRS and country tax agencies. It’due south not easy, and the amount may be nada more than than an educated judge. If you don’t pay in accelerate and await until taxes are due next spring, you’ll have to pay an entire year’s worth of taxes at once, plus penalties and interest.
2 small business accounting websites in particular tin can help: GoDaddy Accounting and QuickBooks Self-Employed. Both allow yous to import and categorize your cyberbanking transactions. Based on that information, they estimate what you might owe every quarter.
The IRS has information about paying estimated taxes(Opens in a new window). Having some insight on where yous stand up with income taxes throughout the year helps with your ongoing taxation planning.
Are yous going to be self-employed for the first time in 2022? You need to beginning submitting quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS and land agencies.
3. Keep Accurate Records
Keeping accurate records is especially important if you’re self-employed. Yous need to maintain thorough, attainable records of all your business-related income and ensure you lot written report all the coin that comes in. You lot as well must document every expense and effigy out the right tax-related category for each one. If yous exercise this on paper, save every receipt in folders organized by calendar month or category and make a note about its purpose.
Personal finance apps and small business organization accounting software tin can help tremendously with keeping fiscal records. With many apps, you lot can import all your banking transactions and the app or website helps you categorize them. These apps help with other bookkeeping tasks, such as budgeting and creating reports at taxation time, too. Very small businesses might be able to get by with Mint.com (free) or Quicken. Larger or more circuitous businesses might consider Intuit QuickBooks Online or Zoho Books.
If you’re an employee who receives a W-ii, you lot should nevertheless have digital or physical folders for storing documents such as charitable contribution records and property tax statements. When you start to receive forms similar your W-2 and 1099s side by side twelvemonth, you lot tin can add them to the mix.
Free personal finance manager Mint allows you to gear up budgets for revenue enhancement-related and personal categories.
four. Learn More About Taxation Deductions and Credits
The IRS form 1040 and its supporting forms and schedules comprise hundreds of deductions and credits that can save you a lot of money in tax breaks. (Interpret them correctly, and you might exist able to have some awfully strange revenue enhancement deductions.) If you do your taxes without software, it’south piece of cake to miss some of these tax breaks, even if you’re eligible. The trick is to exist enlightened of them, so you know when an expense might be deductible equally you get through the yr.
IRS form 1040 and its related forms and schedules contain hundreds of tax deductions and credits.
The IRS has ii web pages that list all the major deductions and some lesser-known ones, with links to detailed information: one is for individuals(Opens in a new window)
and the other is for businesses(Opens in a new window).
NerdWallet besides has a guide to tax deductions(Opens in a new window)
and a list of popular credits and deductions for the 2022 revenue enhancement twelvemonth. You can also runway your financial accounts here and go your credit score periodically for free.
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Go along an eye on personal taxation preparation websites and the year-circular services they offer, besides. Some maintain blogs that cover specific deductions and credits for 2022 and keep y’all upward to date on tax law changes throughout the twelvemonth. TurboTax and H&R Cake offering extended services for individuals who utilise the sites’ tax preparation tools. Both assign you to a CPA or other tax professional who tin answer your questions and troubleshoot your return via video conversation. They’re available twelvemonth-circular to help with tax planning.
5. Save for Retirement During the Year
If you don’t already have an IRA or a 401(grand), it’due south fourth dimension to consider investing in your future and making a dent in your tax obligation at the same fourth dimension. If you do have 1 and aren’t contributing the maximum amounts, think about bumping up the total you put in.
Self-employed individuals may non accept the employer-matching option that W-2 employees practice, but they tin still put money away for retirement and merits these contributions on their revenue enhancement returns. Your options include a Simplified Employee Alimony (SEP) or a one-participant (solo) 401(k) plan. Another choice is the Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, likewise known as the Simple IRA Plan. The IRS has more than detailed information about all these retirement plans for the self-employed(Opens in a new window).
6. Requite Away Some Money
You don’t have to expect until Dec 31 to think nearly philanthropy. Donating money to qualified charitable organizations throughout the year usually translates to a revenue enhancement deduction. In fact, when filing for the 2021 tax year, non-itemizers are allowed to deduct upwards to $300 in charitable contributions ($600 for married filing jointly). Every bit of this writing, we don’t know what Congress may practice with this deduction for 2022, and then keep an eye on taxation-related news.
You won’t get a deduction for giving someone a souvenir of cash or property worth upwards to $16,000 during the yr, but neither will you have to pay the IRS’ gift revenue enhancement. This is a good way to reduce your taxable income while helping a family member or friend.
Donate money through qualified charitable organizations throughout the yr, and you could chip away at your income tax obligation.
If y’all’re self-employed and take to pay quarterly taxes, you have to review your tax-related income and expenses anyhow. You should exist looking at them at to the lowest degree monthly. If you use a personal finance or small business concern accounting application, information technology shouldn’t be a problem. Y’all can even get a rough idea of the balance between incoming and outgoing money by using a paper system and a computer or Excel.
Keep a copy of your 2020 and 2021 tax returns handy. Fifty-fifty though tax law changes for 2022 won’t be finalized until the stop of the year, yous can meet why you got the refund you lot did or had to pay in as much as you did over the last couple of years. These returns are as well useful for figuring out your total tax obligation over the past few years. Unless your fiscal situation has inverse drastically, you tin can wait a similar revenue enhancement obligation.
Go on Track of Your Taxes All Year
Tax planning should be a natural function of your overall financial planning—and it should go on for all 12 months of the yr. If you treat it similar that, you’ll detect that training and filing season won’t be almost equally painful and panicked. When it does come fourth dimension to file, tax software can assist yous go a bigger refund and reduce your risk of an audit.
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