April 15th is not the greatest day for most people in the United States. Millions of people wait in long lines to mail forms that include checks they never wanted to write. One of the best ways to avoid the lines and the checks is to start thinking about next year’s taxes on (or even before) April 16th.

Keys to Lowering Tax Debt:

Waiting until the end of the year to begin thinking about taxes may mean you miss out on many of the tax deductions and credits that are available. It is important to make adjustments and changes in your daily routine that may offer you more tax relief in the year to come.

1. Review your current tax deductions and credits. Talk to your accountant or tax professional about any missed deductions (could you claim part of your home as an office, could you deduct your continuing education, or could you deduct the money that you are paying your kids). Missed deductions and missed credits are some of the biggest reasons for higher tax debt.

2. Keep excellent records. The more information that your tax professional has to work with AND the better it is organized then the easier it will be to uncover more potential deductions and credits.

3. Review the tax code. Keep an eye on tax news (through the internet or other sources) to discover new deductions and credits as soon as they become available.

Lowering tax debt does not have to be difficult or painful. It is usually just a matter of knowing your potential deductions and credits and taking full advantage of them.

The best way to get your tax debt down is to start thinking about your return the first day of the year. Waiting on this may end up costing you more than you can imagine.

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