There are many things your accountant will ask you to complete when filing tax returns for individuals and/or your business. To ensure you don’t miss any steps along the way, here are a few key tips from our experienced tax professionals you’ll want to check off your to-do list. Following these tips will help you and your accountant simplify the tax return filing process.
1) Create a Tax Document Checklist.
When it comes to filing your taxes, pre-planning is key. Make sure your checklist is up-to-date by using your prior year’s documents as a starting point. Enhance the checklist so it includes any new accounts, investments, and/or life changes. As you compile your tax-related documents, check them off your list and keep everything in an orderly file so it’s easier for you to locate and send everything your accountant needs, upon request.
2) Discuss Deduction Opportunities with Your Accountant.
In light of the many changes to itemized deductions that have come into play as a result of the new tax law, before you gather all your tax documents, it’s important you have a discussion about your tax situation with your accountant. They’ll be able to determine if you’ll need to provide additional documentation such as medical expenses, charitable donations, property taxes, and mortgage interest for your deductions and can guide you as to whether or not it pays for you to itemize.
3) Be Timely.
Be sure to send your tax documents to your accountant in a timely manner. It’s important to let them know about any significant events that have happened during the past year as they may affect your taxes.
4) Leverage Technology.
Technology has made it easier to gather, keep track of, and provide your tax documents to your accountant. You can now easily compile many of your tax documents directly from your online bank, brokerage, and mortgage accounts.
5) Send Tax Documents Securely.
While it may take you a few more steps, it’s critical for you to protect your personally identifiable information, if you’re sending your tax documents electronically to your accountant. Be sure you’re sending everything you do digitally in a secure manner. With tax scams on the rise, it’s clear there are many people out there trying to gain access to your personally identifiable information in an effort to obtain a financial advantage over you. Following your accountant’s instructions for securely transferring files in will greatly reduce these risks and give you peace of mind.
If you have questions on simplifying the filing of your specific tax returns please contact us.