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Filing season is finally over and we know the last thing on your mind is next tax season. But did you know that if given more prep time, you could be saving yourself lots of stress and time? Start planning for next tax season now and avoid surprises next April.  Here are a few DOR tips to give you a leg up:

  • Create a System, Get Organized: Once you have done your taxes, create a space in your home to keep all tax related information. Inform your children and spouse about where this information goes and keep it up to date throughout the year. When it comes time to file again, you’ll have everything in one place.
  • Stay Informed: Sometimes, tax changes happen throughout the year. Rates may go up or down. New credits may be added and thresholds may change. Make sure you are on top of developing info. Be sure to periodically check the DOR website for those tax year changes. We keep them updated on the Filing Zone You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for live updates as they happen.
  • Choose your Tax preparer now: If you really want to get a handle on your taxes, take the time to choose a reputable tax preparer Make sure you check their preparation history with the Better Business Bureau and make sure they have a Tax Preparer ID Number. These will help you check their status and validity. Also, watch our Tax Tips video series on picking a tax preparer.
  • Think about your deductions: Check out other deductions (Schedule Y) and other credits (Schedule Z) to see if you qualify. You may be able to lower your taxes if you do. See our list of accepted deductions for Schedule Y.
  • Report Life Changes: Keep up to date on life changes like: births, marital status and adoptions. These changes need to be reflected to update the amount of tax withheld from your pay. Be sure to fill out a new Form W-4 with your employer as changes happen. Same rule applies for those with health insurance through the Health Connector. Reporting changes, even income loss, could result in getting more or less financial assistance.

“We know tax season can be stressful, but there are ways around the stress that are both easy and resourceful. We’re here to help,” says Taxpayer Advocate Dennis Buckley.  Plan now, and reap the savings in the end.

If you have any questions or suggestions about forms or instructions, email our Taxpayer Advocate office for assistance at: taxadvocate@dor.state.ma.us

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