Life After Taxes: What to Do After Tax Day
The April 15th (or 18th!) tax deadline has passed, and it's time to take stock of your financial situation. Whether you have already filed your taxes or have yet to do so, this blog will guide you through what steps to take next. By evaluating your return, analyzing your records, and making necessary adjustments, you can ensure a smoother and more prepared approach to future tax seasons. Let's dive in!
If you have filed your taxes:
Review Your Return
After receiving your tax return, take the time to carefully examine it. Ensure all the information is accurate and matches your financial records. If you spot any discrepancies, it's essential to address them promptly to avoid potential issues later on.
Seek Adjusting Journal Entries
If your tax preparer hasn't provided you with adjusting journal entries, consider reaching out to them and requesting this information. These entries can help you make corrections and adjustments to your financial records, ensuring their accuracy and compliance with tax regulations.
Identify Areas of Difficulty
Reflect on the challenges you faced in gathering the necessary information for your tax accountant. By identifying these pain points, you can develop strategies to streamline the process for future tax seasons. Consider implementing systems or tools that simplify record-keeping, making it easier to monitor your finances throughout the year.
Compare your current year's tax situation with the previous year's. Analyzing the differences can provide valuable insights into changes in your financial circumstances, tax liabilities, and deductions. Use this information to better understand your financial progress and identify areas that require attention.
Assess First-Quarter Performance
Take a closer look at your financial performance in the first quarter of the current year compared to the same period last year. Identify any significant variations and determine if any adjustments or changes are necessary to align your financial goals with tax obligations.
If you have not filed your taxes:
Determine the Delay Reason
If you haven't filed your taxes, ask yourself why. Understanding the reasons behind the delay can shed light on potential issues in your financial management. Procrastination may indicate poor record-keeping habits or a lack of awareness about your financial situation.
Prioritize Filing ASAP
If your records weren’t ready for filing, recognize that this may be an indication of inadequate record-keeping practices. Use this realization as motivation to improve your financial organization and management going forward. Make it a priority to file your taxes as soon as possible to avoid further delays and potential penalties.
Extensions and Deadlines
If your tax accountant filed an extension on your behalf, ensure they promptly submit your completed return. Avoid dragging the process into late summer or fall, as this can cause unnecessary stress and disrupt your focus on current financial matters.
Commit to Positive Change
Take this opportunity to commit to making positive changes in your financial management practices. Embrace the importance of knowing your numbers throughout the year, not just at tax time. By actively monitoring your financial health, you can make informed decisions, avoid surprises, and optimize your tax planning strategies.
If you find yourself in need of assistance, consider seeking support from financial professionals like certified public accountants (CPAs) or tax advisors. They can provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific situation, ensuring you meet your tax obligations efficiently and effectively. Remember, proactive financial management and a commitment to ongoing improvements will help you stay ahead of the game and avoid unnecessary stress! If you need a place to start, start with us! We’re here for you.