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Get your records in order for your 2023 tax return

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You may have noticed tax documents trickling into your electronic and physical mailboxes. They’re arriving now for a good reason: Employers and others have a deadline of Jan. 31 to send W-2 and certain 1099 forms. Those companies include Tropical Financial, where you can get your information online.

Now’s the time to get your tax records in order. Uploading your return has become more accessible in recent years, with more online ways to deliver your return. Finding all the documents and putting them in order has not become much more manageable.

Multiple websites have checklists to help you get organized. Here are tips from established entities such as Adobe, NerdWallet, and the U.S. Consumer Financial and Protection Bureau.

  • Basics: Collect personal and family-member information such as Social Security numbers and financial account routing numbers so that you can make an electronic tax payment or receive a refund.
  • Income: W-2 from your employer; 1099 forms for interest, dividends, and capital gains; dollar figures for estimated tax payments (form 1040-ES); and a laundry list of other sources from real estate investments to Social Security payments to royalties and hobbies.
  • Deductions: You won't need these if you file a short-form 1040. If you are like most people who have personal and business-related expenses that qualify for favorable tax treatment, it’s time to dig through the records related to homeownership, charitable donations, medical bills, health insurance, child-care expenses, education, retirement and healthcare contributions, disaster-related expenses, and income taxes from states other than Florida.
  • Credits: American opportunity and lifetime learning, child-tax, and retirement savings contributions

Collecting and organizing all the documents will likely take a few weekends, especially if you have special circumstances. Get started now because Tax Day is Monday, April 15. While you can file for an extension, you must pay estimated owed taxes at that time.

Want help with your taxes? Tropical Financial has a trove of information on its financial guidance web page. Search on “taxes” for guides to tax withholdings, avoiding tax blunders, Health Savings Accounts, and how to file safely so that your personal information and tax refund are not stolen.

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