Avoid the yearly routine of fumbling for documents at the last minute, and get organized early for tax season. A small amount of prep work can make a huge difference to you and your preparer as they work to complete your returns in a timely manner.
Tax season begins Monday, January 23rd 2017 and the IRS expects one hundred and fifty-three million individual tax returns to be filed throughout the year. Visit IRS.gov to learn more.
Getting organized now can help you escape the rush, reduce stress for yourself and your tax preparer, and even save you money on your invoice.
Here’s a few steps you can take to get ready:
- Gather your documents.
- Keep all tax information received by mail, including but not limited to:
- Interest from banks, etc.
- Healthcare Marketplace documents
- Broker statements
- Charitable giving statements
- Mortgage interest and property tax statement
- Auto tag tax information
- Financial statements or lists of cash receipts and expenditures for your business, including but not limited to:
- 1099-misc forms of income received for non-employee compensation
- Expenditures required to run your business
- List of new equipment purchased for your business
- Costs for running your home if your business is in your home (rent, utilities, internet and phone, garbage and water, cleaning supplies, kitchen and bathroom supplies, filters, and repair and maintenance)
- Organize your documents. If you need some assistance head to the IRS 1040 pdf and use it to get an idea how these documents should be ordered. At McHugh CPA group, we send our clients a helpful organizer each year, which guides them through collecting and sorting documents needed to prepare their return.
- Bring your documents to your tax preparer when you have them all together. It may seem sensible to send in documents as you receive them, but it can make it more difficult for you and your preparer to keep track of which documents have been received and processed.
Do you want to keep your tax preparation invoice down? Cutting down on the amount of time the preparer and administrative staff spend on your return will reduce your final bill. Following these steps is an excellent way to start saving time and money.
- Gather and organize all your tax documents.
- Provide a total for receipts by category.
- Deliver or upload all your tax documents to your preparer at one time.
- Take a few moments to write down all your questions so that you can ask them in a meeting or via phone.
- If you have a high income, or complex tax issues, schedule a tax planning meeting in the fall for the next year. This will allow plenty of time to get ahead of any potential surprises.