Now that tax year 2015 is in the rearview mirror, it's time to turn your attention to the return you'll be filing next year.
Experts say most consumers' efforts to minimize their bill are too little, too late.
"Tax planning is more about whittling over time than grand gestures at the last minute," said certified financial planner Lynn Ballou, a regional director with EP Wealth Advisors. "It's a very complicated dance."
By IRS estimates, the average Form 1040 filer spends just two hours per season on tax planning. To put this in perspective, they expect you'll spend four times that on record keeping (i.e., sorting through that shoebox full of receipts) and twice that to actually prepare and submit your return.