During the last quarter of the year, it’s a perfect time to start thinking about tax return preparation. Start looking at your files and set aside records that can be used for deductions and credits. You can also contact your tax preparer and set an appointment for the month of February. Giving yourself a deadline well in advance of April 15 will keep you on track for an early return and early refund if you have one coming.
Also, if you are planning on making any end-of-year donations to charity or to get a retirement account or HSA fully funded, get on track right now.
Tax prep and filing should never be a surprise. Planning now will pay off in 2016 when others are frantically trying to beat the deadline or file an extension. You will have already received your return and invested the proceeds in an income-producing asset.