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Year-end tips to tackle your taxes in 2020

A new year is right around the corner. However, you do not need to wait until Jan. 1 to make resolutions for 2020. You can start preparing for a better year now by tackling some tax issues and taking steps to increase your refund.

Over the next few weeks, you can utilize some of the following strategies to make tax filing a little easier next year.

Increase your refund

To increase your refund next year, you can:

  • Donate to or volunteer at a qualified charity (if you plan to itemize your deductions)
  • Defer an end-of-year bonus if it would bump you up to the next tax bracket
  • Check your Flexible Spending Account, if you have one, and spend any money that may not carry over into 2020
  • Reduce your taxable income by contributing to your 401(k)
  • Take any tax breaks that may not be available next year

This article has additional suggestions for increasing your refund that you may want to explore. 

Get organized to avoid panic

It may seem like April 2020 is a long way away, but it can creep up faster than you expect. Instead of waiting until then to organize your tax return documents, consider collecting everything you can now.

For instance, collect receipts for any large purchases. Start thinking about the documents you'll need to file with your taxes and set them aside as they come in. You might also track down last year's return and review it to refresh your memory on what to expect this time around.

It could also be helpful to estimate how much you may need to pay in taxes or tax preparation. It is easy to overspend during the holidays, and it can take a while to recover. However, if you have an idea of how much you may need to spend for your taxes, it can be easier to budget and avoid last-minute concerns regarding non-payment.

The tax deadline is months away, but the end of the year is a good time to get organized. It is also the last opportunity you may have to assess and pursue options that could reduce your tax obligations and maximize your refund.

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