Tax Tips: Seven Tax Resolutions for 2014
Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
One of the universal truths about all New Year’s resolutions is everyone seems to find it hard to keep them. While it’s not the end of the world if you don’t stick to your resolutions, there are some that you may want to work extra hard to keep.
The seven tax resolutions you should make this year
This 2014 tax-filing season, make a few tax resolutions—and stick to them. Take it from me: Promising yourself now that you’ll get your tax information in order will make filing next year’s taxes a lot easier.
You should resolve to:
1. Review last year’s tax return and set up tax goals for this year. Which taxes can you reduce? Which credits can you increase? Which credits can you get that you didn’t use last year?
2. Start gathering your 2013 tax data immediately. This will give you more time to track down missing or incomplete information.
3. Check to see if you qualify for IRA or other retirement plan contributions for 2013. By knowing how much you can contribute now, you can save up the money to fund those accounts by April 15 or the extended filing date.
4. Start keeping logs of everything to track for 2014. This generally includes business expenses, such as mileage, shared computer use, shared rental or vacation property use, and shared video, TV or camera use, or certain itemized deductions such as medical or charitable mileage. Consider looking into budgeting or expense tracking apps or websites that can help make this easier.
5. Monitor your credit report. The first warning that you’ve been a victim of tax identity theft will likely appear in your credit report, so monitor it regularly. You can get one free copy of your report each year from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies through annualcreditreport.com. To monitor your report regularly, you can also purchase a credit monitoring product.
6. Prepare a will or living trust. This will ensure that if anything unexpected happens to you this year, your wishes for your finances, assets, family, and medical care will be carried out. Preparing a living will or trust will not only reduce confusion, it will also reduce a variety of costs, such as probate.
7. Set up a budget for the year. In addition to all the responsible expenses, you should also budget for some fun. There are a variety of low-cost options for fun—such as a streaming site for movies and TV or daily deals websites for dining out and traveling—that make inexpensive entertainment easy.
Print out this list and stick it to your bathroom mirror, along with a picture of what you will do with part of your tax savings (trip, kayak, big screen TV). Seeing it every day may give you the incentive you need to keep your resolutions. Plus, it will make you feel good to check off tasks on this list and see what you’ve accomplished.
You should also promise yourself that if you mess up or don’t get to one thing, you won’t get discouraged—and skip the rest of your resolutions.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com ®, where your tax questions are answered. She is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.