By ROMI CARRELL WITTMAN
I realize that with all the football, turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, doing your taxes is probably about the furthest thing from your mind.
While it’s more fun to let your mind wander to visions of sugarplums and flat screen TVs under the tree, it’s a good idea to spend a little time now getting your paperwork in order. It will make filing your 2004 taxes that much easier, and will get you one step ahead on your 2005 taxes.
A good first stop is Pay Check City at www.paycheckcity.com. Here you can play around with the numbers and see how it might affect your paycheck.
You enter in your paycheck amount, how often you’re paid and your individual specifics: federal, medical and retirement withholding and so on, and Pay Check City determines what your net paycheck amount should be.
This is a very handy tool if you’d like to see how a new raise, or an additional deduction such as a 401(k) withholding, might hit your bottom line.
And remember – the start of a new year is always a good time to re-examine your state and federal withholdings. You don’t want to end up paying too much in tax at the end of the year. Conversely, you don’t want to wind up paying a bunch of taxes either. Paycheck City can help you navigate these murky waters.
Yahoo also has http://taxes.yahoo.com/checklist.html to find a handy preparation checklist compiled by H&R Block. This will help you organize your papers and get ready before diving into the U.S. Tax Code. There are also links to tax forms, online calculators and, for the truly adventurous, tax tables.
Uncle Fed at www.unclefed.com is another great online resource offering you access to tax tips, calculators, online forms and information. And, there’s always the Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov.
Romi Carrell Wittman is a Tucson-based freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in marketing, Web site strategy and corporate communications.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.