Posted on: 11 January 2019
Tax season is right around the corner, and that means it's just about time to think about making an appointment with your friendly neighborhood tax professional. Or maybe you have already scheduled your appointment and you find yourself wondering just which paperwork you should prepare to bring with you. Whatever the case, proper preparation can help to make the process smooth and painless. If you are ready to get tax season over with and move on with your life, then read on for some helpful tips to perfect your pre-tax preparation.
Bring Plenty of Identification
This can be easy to overlook if you haven't used professional tax services before or if you're changing agencies, but it is important to bring proper personal identification to your tax appointment. You will need to know your social security number, but additional government-issued identification is important as well. The professional that you are working with will need to be able to properly confirm your identity before proceeding with tax preparation, so the more documentation that you can bring the better off you will be.
Consider Bringing Old Returns
If you have been working with the same tax preparation agency for some time then it is not necessary to have old returns, but consider doing so if you are switching agencies or working with a tax preparer for the first time. Not only do your old returns help as a form of identification, but they provide information that will be useful in quickly completing your current filing.
Don't Forget Income Information
It goes without saying, but you should bring documentation for all forms of income that you have earned in the past year. Most people know to have their W-2 (or 1099-MISC for self-employed individuals) handy, but most people don't consider other forms of income that they may have earned during the year. Have you earned interest or dividends on investments? What about winnings from gambling or playing the lottery? Even small amounts of income from side hobbies may be taxable, so it is better to err on the side of caution and bring all of this documentation with you to your appointment.
Have Expense Documentation Handy
Deductions can be complicated, so if in doubt consider bringing documentation of any expenses that you believe may be deductible. The tax professional that you are working with will be able to help you sort through everything and determine which expenses will help reduce your overall tax burden. In general, you will want to bring medical and dental expenses as well as charitable donations. If you were required to spend money as a part of your employment and that money was not reimbursed by your employer, then it is likely that those expenses are deductible as well.
Remember that tax preparers are experienced and will be able to quickly go through even a large amount of expenses to determine what is and is not important. You should not hesitate to bring everything that you feel might be relevant. A few extra minutes sorting through documents is worth it for a potentially larger refund.
Contact a tax service like Balkcom Pearsall & Parrish CPA's PA for more information or assistance.Share