Collect W-2s, 1099s, and other information on income and deductions needed to prepare your 2012 tax return. Make your appointment for tax return preparation early to give you time to find any missing information and still meet the filing deadline.
Check for errors when you receive your 2012 W-2s, 1099s, and other tax information forms. If there are errors, contact the sender immediately and request a corrected copy.
Check the different filing options you can use on your 2012 tax return. Often a married couple can cut taxes by filing separately if one has lower income but higher medical expenses or other deductions. You have to work out the numbers each way to be sure.
If you did not contribute the 2012 maximum to your IRA by December 31, 2012, and you make any IRA contributions prior to April 15, 2013, be sure to designate to your bank or other trustee that these 2013 contributions are for 2012 (up to the maximum allowed). You can then deduct these amounts on your 2012 tax return for a quicker tax benefit.
Make your 2013 retirement plan contributions as early this year as possible in order to maximize your tax-deferred earnings.
Don’t overlook any of the tax credits available to reduce your 2012 tax bill.