Tax Planning

It's Never Too Early to Start Planning Your 2024 Taxes

It's Never Too Early to Start Planning Your 2024 Taxes

April has come and gone, which from a financial perspective means two things. First, this year's tax season has finally (and for many people, graciously) come to an end. Second... next year's tax season will be right around the corner.

When experts say that it's never too early to start planning for your 2024 taxes, they're not being hyperbolic. In fact, there are a number of key steps that you can take today to make things as easy as possible when the time does roll around once again.

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Getting a Head Start on Your 2024 Taxes: An Overview

Maybe the most important step you can take when coming up with a tax planning strategy is to develop precisely that - a strategy in every sense of the term. With regard to preparation, most people simply collect financial documents throughout the year, fill out all the appropriate forms, and submit them. It doesn't get much more straightforward than that.

However, there are things you can do that will directly impact how much tax you end up paying. In an effort to stimulate the economy, activities that produce goods and services (like owning a small business) tend to get taxed at a lower rate than simply those people who are just consumers. Therefore, even if you don't own a small business, consider ways that you can reduce your taxable income by investing in things like real estate, agriculture, or even energy.

You should also take this as an opportunity to not just practice bookkeeping, but to practice sound, savvy bookkeeping throughout the year. The chasm between those two ideas is a lot deeper than most people realize.

For example, it isn't enough to just collect all of your various receipts and invoices throughout the year, throw them into a filing cabinet, and get them back out again in 11 months. You'll want to make sure that all of your account balance sheets are reconciled on a regular basis - preferably monthly. If you are a business owner, review those balance sheets and profit and loss statements. Check for any errors that exist now and make sure that everything is accurate. It's much easier to correct a small issue today than it will be after it gets buried under reams of additional documents a year from now.

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Additional Considerations About Tax Planning

During the initial stages of your tax planning for the next year, you should also use it as an opportunity to review any loans and other expenses that you have incurred since the last time you filed. This is especially true if you're a business owner, but it also makes sound financial sense for regular filers as well.

This can help give you a broader picture of where you stand from a financial perspective, which can help inform some of the decisions that you're making throughout the next several months - particularly in terms of how you're generating your income and where that money is going.

Finally, make sure that you're taking the opportunity to research any deductions that you might be eligible for that you tend to miss. At this point, most people are familiar with the "Home Office" deduction. But you should also consider whether you qualify for bonus depreciation on any real estate investments that you've amide, or even the "20% Pass-Through Deduction." Most people forget about deductions like these entirely and with the right documentation they can save you quite a bit of money moving forward.

If you'd like to find out more information about what you can do to make tax planning for 2024 easier, or if you'd just like to put a long-term tax strategy of your own in place but aren't sure where to begin, please don't delay - contact us today.

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Patricia McMillan

Patricia McMillan

Patricia McMillan, CPA is CEO of McMillan Consulting, LLC based in Warwick, NY. We assist businesses and individuals with tax research and tax preparation, strategic business planning, financial planning, addressing and resolving strategic and risk management issues, team facilitation, contract negotiation, coaching, training, and development. Patricia has spent over 30 years in corporate finance, commercial lending and credit, sales, risk management, operational and credit auditing, as well as business and personal coaching.

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