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Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and 2021 is off to a great start – all things considered! Tax season can be stressful, even if you hire a tax preparer. Many of you may not think about taxes until this time of year. While there are benefits to tax planning throughout the year, there are still a few things you can do to make tax season a little easier. Here are a few ideas to help you prepare. 
  • Review last year’s tax return: Previous tax returns provide valuable information that can help you prepare for this year. Make a list of any changes from last year. Examples include a marriage or divorce, children, a new job, new bank or investment accounts, and a home purchase or sale. You should also note any COVID-related stimulus payments or loans received.
  • Get organized: Depending on your situation, you will need different documents to file your tax return. This article provides a good checklist of documents to gather. Set up an electronic file and a create a folder for paper documents so you can save everything you need to file your taxes in one place. As you get organized this year, you can set up a system to store information for future years.
  • Decide whether hire a pro or DIY: If you’re a W-2 employee with a straightforward situation (interest and/or dividends and a mortgage), it’s possible to manage your taxes on your own. If you have equity compensation, own a business, or have any additional complexity, I highly recommend hiring a tax professional. Either way, think about how much time you want to spend on tax preparation and if you’d prefer to delegate this task to someone else.  
 
Coronavirus Stimulus 2.0
The latest pandemic relief bill was signed into law on December 27. My colleague, Anjali Jariwala of FIT Advisors, explains several key provisions here.
 
Refresh Your Goals
It’s not too late to make those new year’s resolutions! With the emotional hangover of 2020 and the uncertainty that lies ahead in 2021, I encourage you to ditch the common resolutions and focus on ways to be happier. Here are three resolutions that will encourage you to take better care of yourself, leave bad habits behind, and feel more fulfilled.
Join Me on the Worth Listening Podcast!
Last summer, I teamed up with friend and fellow financial planner, Lauryn Williams on a Facebook Live financial series. I’m excited to announce that she’s invited me to co-host 13 episodes of her podcast, Worth Listening! We will dive into some trendy financial topics and continue with our financial myth-busting. To kick things off, I shared my personal money story here. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.
 
My calendar is open for consultations in March. If you’re ready for guidance as you head into 2021, I would love to have a conversation!
 
Cheers,

Chloé A. Moore, CFP®
Founder, Financial Staples

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