We guarantee 2018 is rife with opportunities if you know how and where to find them. And one such opportunity you have, as an expat U.S. citizen or Green Card holder, is filing your taxes well ahead of the 2018 deadline.
Here are three reasons how preparing your taxes early will make you richer.
1. Get Those Deductions
Beginning the tax-preparation process early means you will have the forms you need well before the deadline. Among other things, you have more time to find receipts and other missing information your expat tax accountant asks for that the IRS requires. Many people begin the tax-filing process in earnest just before the deadline, but then realize they do not have everything they need.
As an overseas taxpayer, your situation is often more complicated when you have to locate the U.S. equivalents of forms in far-flung overseas locations. This might include misplaced hotel receipts, itemized medical bills, or other paper trail proof for deductions that lower your tax bill. This vicious cycle translates into money you lose when you can’t deduct certain expenses just because you don’t have time to chase down what the accountant, or rather, the IRS requires.
2. Avoid the Deadline Crunch
A looming tax filing deadline can create logjams for accounting firms, just as the holiday season rush causes delays at the post office or express mail services. Joe the accountant, whether he works for a big-six firm or for a small shop, can only prepare so many taxes during a 24-hour period. Beginning the process early means you will have much more freedom to get the slot you want with the accounting firm that best fits your needs. This is one way to maximize the amount of your deductions and tax breaks you are legally entitled to. In this way, tax preparers also have more leeway to devote the time they need for your return.
3. Beat that Procrastination Bug
You know you have to eventually prepare your taxes one day. But you put it off because the deadline is weeks or even months away. Why begin getting your tax forms ready this weekend, instead of heading out to the golf course or taking your kids to the park on a Sunday afternoon? But when you make the most gratifying choice in the immediate, there is extra mental baggage that comes with it. As you do the things you love, in the back of your mind, you know sooner than later you will eventually have to spend a few hours getting your taxes ready.
As Susan Krauss Whitbourne (Ph.D.) writes for “Psychology Today”: “Procrastination can lead to stress, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a quick and easy way to beat it?” Whitbourne says. In her article, Whitbourne gives a very helpful list of ways to beat procrastination to help yourself to become happier, less stressed, and ultimately more financially security in “12 Ways to Beat Procrastination.”
Way ahead of tax season, you thus have the freedom to remove the worry and fret of knowing you will have to spend those precious off-time hours working with your accountant in the future, and now, before the rush begins, have the expat tax preparation service of your choice promptly and efficiently prepare your taxes for you before the tax season crunch begins. You can then breathe a sigh of relief as you enjoy doing what you love to do on your off time. It all adds to your happiness quotient, making you richer emotionally.
Just Pick Up that Phone
Getting the ball rolling for your taxes is just a matter of picking up the phone or sending an email to the expat tax preparer of your choice now. A qualified tax accountant will immediately instruct you about what you need to do to get your taxes prepared ahead of time and how you are going to save money on your 2018 returns sooner than later.