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It’s almost 2013 – Are you ready?

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With the election over, those who were waiting to see if tax laws will be changed can rest assured that the rules are set for the 2013 tax season. If you are looking for tips to get started on your 2013 tax season, take a look right here.

Filing taxes is a requirement for all working citizens here or abroad, so trying to make the most of them takes some preparation and good choices. Getting a head start for next year’s tax season could get you done with the process by the April deadline.

Paying tax liabilities have no extension, so if you can get the paperwork together, you will not have to stress for the majority of the year with getting your paperwork filed. Here are some things to help prepare you for this next tax season. Indiana has similar tax requirements.

If you get a big return at tax time but live paycheck to paycheck throughout the year, you can change your withholdings in order to have more money throughout the year.

Locate your 2011 tax papers and start a new file folder for papers you will need to do your 2012 taxes. If you have receipts, which you are saving, include those in the same file. Organize them by category and dates. Use envelopes or additional file folders kept ready so these next few months they will not get lost in the shuffle of holiday receipts. The more you can prepare, the better organized you will stay during this busy time of year.

Go through your paycheck stubs and verify that your employer had been withholding correctly. If you find a mistake, you can check with your employer to correct the situation with plenty of time to get results. Last minute corrections will add to the tax season stress for you and your employer.

Get your tax preparer lined up for the tax season. If you realize that using a professional tax preparer will be the best option for your situation, save on stress and start the search for that person today.

You have just over two months to make your final contributions for 2012. Take advantage of early mortgage or property tax, which can be itemized in your deductions. Your tax preparer can help steer you in the right direction in order to maximize the benefits of tax deductions.

Monitor the updates to tax laws. This election year will prove to be interesting down to the end with tax credits expiring and possible new laws being passed. Keep yourself informed. The IRS website will offer all the latest news and updates.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is due to expire. You may be able to take advantage of the $2,500 tax credit by paying your 2013 tuition costs this year. Everybody’s tax situation is different, and your personal tax preparer will be able to work with you to keep your tax liabilities to a minimum while maximizing on any possible returns.

Dr. Jesse Brown is a wealth management and wealth preservation specialist and is the Dean of the School of Business at Martin University. He is a best-selling author of the book Investing in the Dream: Wealth Building Strategies of African-Americans seeking Financial Freedom and Pay Yourself First: A Guide to Financial Success. For questions or comments about this column, email Browncolumnrecorder@aol.com or Deanbrowncolumn.com.

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