How To Be Prepared For Your Tax Appointment

Using our Tax Preparation Guide could help you be more organized than ever before. How many times when you are gathering your records to go meet with your tax professional do you wonder if you are overlooking anything? Are you providing everything you should be in order to have the lowest tax bill legally allowed?

What if I forget something?

You have the obvious items you need such as your W-2’s, 1099’s. You have your mortgage interest, property tax and medical bills. However, it is the not so obvious things that most taxpayers will overlook or never even think of. It is these things that could potentially lower their tax bill. After all the time you spend gathering your records and the time spent with your tax professional, there is nothing more aggravating than filing your taxes only to have another document arrive a week later that results in the need to file an amended tax return. Furthermore, an amended tax return is another preparation fee that you must now pay that was never necessary to begin with.

Being prepared for your tax appointment with the proper documentation can result in taxes being less time consuming and in most cases will save you money.

How can I stay best prepared year round? 

Keeping an ongoing list during the year is the best way to stay prepared all year round. Write down names of employers you worked for. Track your interest earning accounts, retirement accounts and investments. Record any income earned as a self-employed individual. This can help you to ensure you have received all documents and accounted for all income when getting your taxes prepared. If you are a homeowner, keep a folder of all your tax records related to your home. Mortgage interest and property taxes are two of the most common but there are others.

If you are not sure if something is important for your taxes, it is better to include it and not need it than to exclude it and need it.

What if I am meeting with someone new this year? 

If you are meeting with a new tax professional, make sure to bring your photo ID and Social Security Card for yourself and your spouse. If you have children, bring their social security cards and birth certificates as well. Have a copy of your prior year’s tax return to provide to a new tax professional. There is pertinent information on your most recently filed return that will help ensure a smooth transition with a new tax professional as well as help to make sure nothing is overlooked if there have been any changes in your financial situation over the past year. Check with your tax professional as all tax offices have different requirements in what they will ask you to bring to verify certain credits or claims on your return.

As you are gathering up your records, you are bound to have questions come up. It is best to write these down as you think of them so you don’t forget to ask them when you go in for your tax appointment.

Should I just file an extension? 

Remember, it is better to file an extension, pay the amount of tax you anticipate owing and have a correct return than to rush to file only to end up with a return that does not include all of your income or give you credit for all of your deductions or credits.

At True Resolve Tax Professionals, we feel that life is stressful, taxes shouldn’t be. We have created a checklist for taxpayers, that is available for download, to use when getting ready for your tax appointment. Our Tax Preparation Guide will help you to ensure you do not overlook anything that could be important in filing a proper tax return.