4 Easy Steps to Get Started with Your Taxes in 2024

At Merit, we understand the season of income tax preparation can go hand-in-hand with feelings of joy (when one receives that much-anticipated refund); result in surprises (when one discovers they may, in fact, OWE versus receiving a refund); bring forth feelings of frustration (as one continues to await those last-minute K-1’s, with the hope of avoiding having to file an extension) and of course, culminate with feelings of gratitude (when the CPA informs you they’ve hit the “file” button and your tax mission is finally accomplished for the year). It can be a roller coaster of highs and lows, to say the least.

We know some of you hit the “file” button before many of us donned our green and celebrated the luck of the Irish. Likewise, we know some of you may be reading this with the knowledge that filing your personal or business income taxes is still very much on the “to-do” list. If you fall in the latter category, don’t panic! Instead, read a few helpful hints below to get the proverbial ‘ball rolling’ on this most important project.

#1 Gather Tax Documentation

To start the tax journey, begin compiling all the critical and necessary tax documentation to file your income taxes. These documents can include but are not limited to:

  • Forms W-2 from your employer(s)
  • Forms 1099 from banks, issuing agencies and other payers including unemployment compensation, dividends, pension, annuity or retirement plan distributions
  • Form 1099-K, 1099-MISC, W-2 or other income statement if you worked in the gig economy
  • Form 1099-INT if you were paid interest
  • Other income documents and records of digital asset transactions
  • Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, to reconcile advance payments or claims Premium Tax Credits for 2022 Marketplace coverage
  • IRS or other agency letters
  • CP01A Notice with your new Identity Protection PIN

We recommend reading the IRS tax preparation guide to confirm which documentation is needed for your personalized situation.

#2 Check the Deadlines

After gathering the necessary documents, check the filing deadlines and keep them top of mind. This year is especially important because the tax deadline falls on April 18. We recommend reviewing the comprehensive list of deadlines here.

#3 Contact Your Tax Professional or Get Ready to File on Your Own

If a tax professional handles your taxes, be sure to get in touch with their office as soon as possible. Confirm with them when you must provide all applicable documentation to meet the tax filing deadline. If you’re filing yourself, schedule a time to sit down and get rolling!

#4 Connect with Merit

Finally, remember: your Merit team is here to help! If there is anything we can do to assist you and your accounting team, please let us know. Contact our team and we will connect you with the appropriate financial advisor.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. LPL Financial, Merit and Merit Financial Group do not offer tax advice.