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Katherine [00:00:00]Like it or not tax season is just around the corner. Robert, what are three common mistakes that taxpayers make?Robert [00:00:07]I would say three are being prepared. Finding the appropriate support to do your taxes and then finally not thinking long term.Katherine [00:00:18]Do you think that the government shutdown will impact tax returns at all?Robert [00:00:22]I think it will. The government filing of tax returns has already started and the IRS workers who support processing tax returns were not impacted by the shutdown. However I think the ancillary impact could slow down processing which means get your tax return in as early as possible so you don't delay your refund.Katherine [00:00:45]What's your advice for someone trying to figure out their retirement contributions?Robert [00:00:49]Well if you're a gig worker, an independent contractor we have a lot of those now. I would say you need to get certain support that an employer might otherwise provide for you and one support would be linked by Prudential so link is what I would call a bridge. It almost serves as an employer would in terms of helping you think about your retirement needs an employer might have a retirement plan of it available to you since you don't have that you can go on and Link and Think about do I need an IRA? Do I need something else? Are there other products I need like life insurance again. An employer might have that at work but a gig work or an independent contractor doesn't have access to that so you need that kind of support.Katherine [00:01:36]Is now also the time to start paying for next year's taxes?Robert [00:01:40]Absolutely. You should always be thinking about actually multiple years. That's the best kind of tax planning to do is thinking over the long term. And so being prepared for this year's return but then also think about opportunities. So one example is the new tax rules and so it's really more important than ever to think about consecutive tax years because given the new rules you may not be able to itemized deductions anymore this year because there's a higher standard deduction but you might find if you bunch deductions that you can actually itemize next year. So you have to think about them together.Katherine [00:02:18]I'm glad that you bring up the new tax system because I'm wondering will the new tax brackets impact tax payments.Robert [00:02:27]They absolutely will. Pretty much the brackets across the board are down a percent or two and there's some small bands where rates actually go up. But they are definitely going to impact and some people might have some pleasant surprises in terms of getting more back and some may have unpleasant surprises in terms of owing more. By and large most people are going to pay less under this tax bill. A fair amount are going to be impacted, will be neutral, will pay about the same and then a small percentage are going to pay more. But we're all kind of learning with this tax bill. But it's good to kind of get your arms around it as soon as you can because that also impacts your estimated tax payments for next year.Katherine [00:03:12]How do you budget to pay the IRS?Robert [00:03:15]So if you are working for an employer it's really easy because you filled out a W-4 and so you have withholding taken out of your paycheck every pay period. So again the employer serving as a support for you. If you're an independent contractor you're self-employed a gig worker you don't have that support. So you've got to figure it out on your own. And there are tools out there to help you to figure that out. For example covered 1099 is a tool that allows you to go online and estimate your tax liability and not only that it allows you if you want to set aside that money. So it's there when you have to pay your estimated tax. And it also allows you to do other things like if you want to start funding an emergency fund you can allocate dollars to that. So again it helps you with some of that thinking and allows you to make some of those decisions.Katherine [00:04:10]Before I let you go I just want to know what are your three tips for taxes?Robert [00:04:16]My three tips are the ones I started with. Be prepared you know particularly if you're an independent contractor you've got to keep track of your deductions zones going to do that for you and that's giving away tax dollars if you don't track those correctly. Getting the right support you know software is great. A person might be better for some things and then planning for the long term and not just thinking short term and again you know with regard to getting that help. That's probably the most important thing. Think about the tools that are available for you like a link by Prudential.Katherine [00:04:53]Thank you for joining me.Robert [00:04:54]Thank you for having me.

It's time to prepare for tax season. And by that, I mean next tax season. 

Robert Fishbein, vice president at Prudential, sat down with TheStreet to discuss all thinks taxes and--most importantly--when you should be preparing for tax season.

"You should always be thinking about actually multiple years. That's the best kind of tax planning to do is thinking over the long term. And so being prepared for this year's return but then also think about opportunities. So one example is the new tax rules and so it's really more important than ever to think about consecutive tax years because given the new rules you may not be able to itemized deductions anymore this year because there's a higher standard deduction but you might find if you bunch deductions that you can actually itemize next year. So you have to think about them together," said Fishbein.

RelatedMaking the Most of Your Tax Brackets in Retirement

But that's not the only thing to pay attention during tax season. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have been enacted in Dec. 2017, but it's still impacting taxpayers. Fishbein weighed in on how the new tax brackets will affect tax payments.  

Related: The Truth About Annuities and Retirement

"Pretty much the brackets across the board are down a percent or two and there's some small bands where rates actually go up. But they are definitely going to impact and some people might have some pleasant surprises in terms of getting more back and some may have unpleasant surprises in terms of owing more," he said. "By and large most people are going to pay less under this tax bill. A fair amount are going to be impacted, will be neutral, will pay about the same and then a small percentage are going to pay more. But we're all kind of learning with this tax bill. But it's good to kind of get your arms around it as soon as you can because that also impacts your estimated tax payments for next year."

Tax Tips: Videos to help you prepare for tax season