Published on March 1st, 2014
Preparing for tax time can be tedious. It usually means you’ll be gathering lots of documents for your tax professional so that your return can be prepared. Here are a few things you can do to assure that your preparer spends less time looking for missing information and more time finding ways to reduce your taxes.
1. Use Your Tax Organizer
Many tax preparers send out tax organizers. Tax organizers start with prior year data, listing prior year income and deductions. You should review the information for accuracy and be sure to update it with any new accounts or changes. This creates a good starting point and ensures your tax preparer has complete information.
2. Make Your Preparer Aware of Changes
Even if you have informed your tax preparer along the way, it’s important to inform him of any life changes. Report any change in address, changes in dependents (children, elderly parents), new sources of income due to job change or retirement, new autos used for work, and any home improvements if you use a home office.
3. Detail Your Estimated Tax Payments
Because there are often changes along the way, and chance of computer or other error, you need to de- tail all tax payments – estimated tax and tax filing extension payments. This is true even if you use the vouchers your tax preparer gave you. For each payment, you should list the date, payee, amount paid, and check number.
4. Provide “Non-1099” Items
Besides tax documents you receive from employers, banks, brokers, and government, you should also provide:
- Closing statements for real estate purchased, sold, or refinanced
- Retail installment contracts for new autos used in business or as an employee
- Expenses that may be deductions for a new businesses or property
- Letters from nursing homes indicating the tax deductible portion of the cost of care
- Matching tuition payment receipts for education account (529) distributions
- Matching medical cost payments for HSA distributions
- Name, address, and tax id for day care providers
- Real estate taxes that may not be listed on mortgage interest statements
- Expenses from all checkbooks and credit card statements
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The content in this document is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice or an offer to perform services on this subject matter. Contact Visci & Associates to schedule a consultation at our offices in New York and New Jersey.