CPA Garrett Wagner of the New York State Society of CPA’s discussed the importance of tax planning and steps you can take to save money Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Wagner first explained the advantages of planning ahead when it comes to addressing your taxes. “The biggest advantage is you avoid those surprises,” he said. “The worst thing that can happen is come tax deadline time you’re surprised with this big tax bill that you weren’t prepared for, so you always want to start planning ahead of time to know what’s coming.”

Wagner laid out the strategy for getting organized. “Step one, make sure you’ve got last year’s return and you can look through there and see what documents you need. You want to make sure you have those ready ahead of time when you go talk to your CPA.”

He said make sure you retain and organize things like bank statements, pay stubs, W2’s, interest statements and charitable contributions. “A great way to save money on your taxes is to make charitable contributions. It’s a great way to give back to your community. Just make sure you save the receipts as you go.”

Another tax saving tool is retirement contributions, which also help ensure you have the resources you need in retirement.

Wagner said if you’re not sure about what documents to organize, or what steps to take regarding your tax planning, consult your CPA. “They’re always there to help you plan ahead for the future and get ready for it.”

For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPA’s website, click here.