You Filed Your Taxes: Now What?
April 15th has passed and, hopefully, you’ve filed your 2018 taxes and can breathe a sigh of relief. Before you lock that filing cabinet, here are a few final steps to ensure your records are up to date.
1: Go old school. Print a copy of your completed tax return and file it somewhere safe. Next year, you’ll appreciate having it handy for reference when you need to know your Annual Gross Income (AGI). You’ll want to hang onto those returns for 3 years minimum… up to 7 if your business has claimed a loss or a bad debt.
2: Settle up or make a plan if you owe money. You can pay online eliminating the need to snail-mail a check to the US Dept. of Treasury (not IRS… just in case you forgot). If you owe a lot and can’t pay it all, don’t ignore the debt! Set-up a payment plan, request a delay in collection or apply for an Offer in Compromise.
3: Correct your mistakes. If you’re like many of us you know how easy it is to forget to mail that proxy form, get bread at the market, declare income from that side hustle… Now that you’ve filed your taxes, you may have a face-palm moment as you realize you’ve forgotten to declare some income, mis-categorized your business or forgot to claim a deduction.
Call your CPA and let them know you want to file an amended tax return. You have 3 years from the filing year to correct your mistakes, though you’ll want to take care of any omissions or errors as soon as you’re aware of them. If you e-filed your return, give it time to be processed and if you are due a refund wait to receive it before you submit your amended return.
Tax season is over, at least until June 15th when it’s time to file quarterly estimated business taxes. For now, enjoy the spring days and, if you see a CPA, buy them a beer, they deserve it!