One of the things you should do to maintain an optimal lifestyle is to ensure that you’re taking care of your taxes. Tax season can be nerve-wracking for the average American, especially when you have a full household to consider. However, you can get your family through another tax season with the right preparation. Here are a few tips to ensure you and your family get through this period.

1. Find a Tax Professional

Why stress out over preparing your taxes when there are professionals who can do so for you? However, don’t wait until the last minute to hire a professional in March or April. Regardless of your income level, you can work with an accountant or tax lawyer throughout the year who keeps track of your documentation and records. As a result, you’ll have help getting the best deductions from your taxes.

In 2020, American taxpayers owed more than $114 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties. By enlisting a professional who understands the ever-changing tax laws, you can prevent yourself from making such a mistake. A tax attorney can also represent you in case of an audit.

2. Make Necessary Repairs and Upgrades

Did you make any repairs or updates to your residential property this year? If you plan to do so, you still have time before December 31st. Since your home is your biggest asset, making timely updates can help increase its value. The government understands this, which is why there are several tax deductions available. Ensure you and your family have access to clean energy by installing solar panels on your roof. Doing so will not only help you get a substantial federal tax deduction, but you may even have further help from your state government.

Other energy-efficient upgrades that can ease a tax burden include switching to Energy Star appliances. Do you or anyone else in your household have a disability or medical issue that has required adjustments to the house? Did you need to install a ramp or make bathrooms more accessible? These upgrades can make your lifestyle more comfortable and accessible, so make these adjustments before the end of the year to help your family prepare for tax season.

Your home isn’t the only place where making repairs can help you prepare for taxes. If you’re one of the many Americans who is now running your own business, you may need your car as part of your business expenses. The typical American spends about $356 repairing their car annually. You can enjoy a nice tax break if you save those receipts and put those related car repairs under the business deductible section.

3. Review Education Updates

Do you have children in school? Are you one of the many parents opting for a private school? If you live in Washington state, 50% of the private schools there have a religious affiliation. While you may have more ease knowing that your child can be in a religious-focused environment, one that focuses on STEM education, and has better facilities and after-school clubs, it can be a lot of money to pay out of pocket. Sometimes equal to the cost of college tuition.

Speaking of college tuition, save any of the receipts that go towards your child’s higher education. If you have applied for an educational loan to assist them, that is also tax deductible.

4. Adjust Filing Status

Depending on the change in your household, you may have to adjust your filing status. Did you just add an additional member to the family? Has one of your children graduated college and is no longer a dependent? If you or your spouse are going through a separation or divorce, you also must note that on your taxes.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it’s time to file your taxes. Make note of all the changes in your lifestyle, such as education, marriage status, child dependency status, and so on. Keeping track of these updates can ensure you and your family are less likely to be stressed out when it’s time to file your taxes with the IRS.