Your tax return preparer works very hard the first four months of the year. Below are some tax preparation tips you can take to make your tax preparation service go more smoothly.
1. Bring in last year’s tax return. This is most important if you are going to a new accountant. A prior year return can contain helpful and useful information such as Adjusted Gross Income, Itemized or Standard deduction, and total tax.
2. Gather all of the tax forms that you have received – W-2s, 1099’s (Int, Div, Misc, etc.), 1098s, charitable contributions, medical expenses, K-1s, business information, and any other information that you have received. Not only will this hasten the preparation of your return, your accountant can also make sure that you aren’t missing something you might have had last year. I do know several accountants who are now having their clients drop off their information without sitting down with them. In these cases, it is important to fill out the organizer that they sent, either a pdf or paper version, so that they are sure not to miss anything. If you didn’t receive one, please ask.
3. A copy of your social security card for you and each of your family members makes the end process of e-filing quicker and much less likely for your return to be rejected. When a return is e-filed, the IRS compares the social security numbers of each individual, including dependents, with the social security and ITIN database. When there is inconsistent information, the return will be rejected, resulting in a sometimes rather lengthy delay.
4. If you are a business client and you keep your own books, one of the most helpful things you can do is make sure to get your information (balance sheet, income statement, trial balance) in as soon as you can. Business returns (1120, 1120-S, 1065s) are due March 15th. There isn’t much time at the beginning of the year to get these returns done, so the sooner the better.