The tax season is officially over for most people, and by now many taxpayers have already put their refund to good use. However, while almost everyone would rather not think about taxes for the next 10 months, or so, the fact is, this is a good time to start looking at next year’s taxes. In fact, by taking a close look at this year’s return, you can learn some important things for next year.
So here are some things to pay attention to. First off, did you get a large refund, or did you end up owing the IRS money? Chances are, one way or the other you need to take a look at your W-4. If you get a big refund then you are probably having too much withheld. On the other hand, if you still owed the IRS money then you are not having enough withheld.
Your 401k is another thing to revisit. Are you maxing it out? If not, then you are missing out on some extra tax savings. Of course, if you need that money now then you can only set aside so much. However, if you can afford to put more away for later, then you should definitely take full advantage of it.
Another good thing to start planning for right now is your list of deductions. Start tracking your receipts and keeping an accurate record. This will help you when you try to figure out your itemized deductions next year.
Lastly, if you like to make charitable donations then you could use your IRA to make those contributions. You get to help a good cause and the contribution won’t hurt your adjusted gross income.