Unless you requested a tax filing extension, Monday will bring the end to the tax season. You may be happy about getting a refund or not owing any money to the government. Or, perhaps you’re unhappy about the taxes you paid. Whatever you are feeling, we have news for you: Despite what you may think, now is not the time to stop thinking about taxes.
Tax planning should be done year-round, and the first step is analyzing the return you just filed. A 1040 tax return is not the most intuitive document to read — there are line numbers and dollar amounts all over the document, lines that reference other lines, and some lines that are the addition of other lines (phew!). With that said, it’s not a surprise that most people only look at the amount they owe or refund amount. But a tax return contains pertinent information, and if you’re looking to improve your tax situation, it’s the best place to start.
Discover the areas of your tax return you should focus on by referencing these checklists:
If You Are Working, Download This Checklist
If You Are Retired, Download This Checklist
We encourage our clients to upload their tax returns to our secure vault, where we can do a proper analysis and produce a report similar to this sample. This provides a really clear summary of your tax return, but also helps us look for opportunities to improve your tax situation.