Last minute tax preparation is common today. A small mistake in you tax filing can become big trouble. Not only that, you could loose a lot of money if your tax returns are not straight. To keep trouble at bay, it is best to have a tax consultant. At the same, knowing the basics about taxes and knowing your way around tax planning might come in handy for you too.

Learning how to plan your taxes from A-Z takes a long time. That’s why you need a professional tax consultant. Still, not all points related to tax planning is technical. Given below are some simple points you can remember while filing your next tax.

The best practice as far as tax planning is concerned is to plan not always at the end of the year. You may regulate the pace, on a quarterly or half-yearly basis. You may choose to relate it on important events associated with your life, for example, when you get your annual increment ,on your birthday, or your wedding anniversary, etc., A timely tax planning will not only save you from a lots of stress but will also double up your resources.

Characteristics of a calculated tax planning program:

• Step-by-step listing of process you need to take of your current income, expenses, and financial position

• Knowing your personal or business goals in measurable terms

• Knowing your capabilities and resources to achieve your goals

• Easy to follow and is thus practical

• Has a beginning and ending point in your objective planning and subject to updating, if need be.

What You Should Know Before You Prepare Your Tax?

For those of you who are accustomed to on an annual tax planning, here are a few steps that you can take so as to stay on top:

• First and foremost, you could do from a tax planning perspective is, open and fund an individual retirement account (IRA) on or before April 15. In case you already hold one, make an additional deposit up to the prescribed limit.

• Make sure your social security number and employer identification number are correct. If you are filing a joint return, be sure you include your dependent’s Social Security number. Make sure your names are spelt correctly on the records.

• Make certain you are claiming the correct exemption amount. Cross check the figures a second time with the help of a calculator. Be sure the correct box is filled in for the exemptions you are claiming and put them on the correct line.

• Be sure you sign the application in the right place meant for it. If you are filing jointly, have your spouse sign your tax return.

• Make sure you have attached the Federal copy of any W-2 you received. Make sure you have attached any other important documents and schedules.

Tax planning is a complex process and very technical that every taxpayer at some point of his life will seek for guidance from a professional. Tax planners will device a strategy for your investments, which will directly minimize your tax burden. How do you judge a professional tax planner, you can look for the following characteristics in a good tax planner:

• He has a preliminary interview with you in order to process information about you.

• Patiently listens to your financial goals, desires, and needs.

• Avoids jargons and explains things in an easy to understand manner.

• Is open to your suggestions.

• Replies politely when you question his background, specialties, or qualification.

All the best!

Author's Bio: 

Michael Plude is a tax consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the field of financial planning. He has helped varying clients from small to medium sized companies and has provided audit services to Fortune 500 companies. For more information, visit