Money IQ: Tax Season

Money IQ

Tax Season

Another tax season is upon us and the countdown has started to April 15. 

You should have received your W-2, 1099 and 1098 forms by now.

If you have not received these forms, you need to track them down because they should have been mailed by Jan. 31, 2013. You might have these documents electronically if you are signed up for electronic or online banking with your bank.

Many taxpayers wait until the last minute to collect and organize tax forms, tax -deductible donations and any other tax related forms. I used to be one of them and I would spend many evenings during March and April searching for tax-related documents and especially for tax deductions. 

Now, I have made it a point to write a check or use my debit/credit card when I make a contribution to a non-profit organization. It leaves a record because a cashed check can be used as a receipt.   

Some of the items that people forget top include on their tax returns are income from a second job, energy savings credit like a new roof or wood burning stove, property taxes on a second property, relocation expenses, education credits and mileage in the service of a non-profit organization like your church.

Try to plan ahead. There are pretax advantages like Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for health care and day care expenses and 401-K limits. You can also adjust your W-4 every year so you don’t have such a huge refund or tax burden the next year.

Finally, you can create a filing system so that all your tax-deductible receipts are in one place. 

Editor’s note: Karl Hjelvik is the Vice President Internal Auditor at Los Alamos National Bank. He has been with LANB since 1996.

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