If you’re among the millions of Americans who prefers to have their taxes prepared by a professional, you’re already on the right track. Working with a CPA not only helps ensure your taxes are prepared correctly, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re working with someone who is up to date on the ever-changing tax code.
Regardless as to whether your appointment is next week, next month or you’re looking to get a head start for next year, below are just a few of the things you’ll want to do before your tax prep appointment.
Gather And Organize Your Income Documents
Before you meet with an accountant, you’ll want to get your income documents in order. For example, you’ll want to make sure you have all of your relevant forms, including W-2 and 1099 forms, on hand. If you have investment accounts, you’ll likely receive a 1099-NT or 1099DIV (if receive dividends.) If you think you’re owed a form and you haven’t received one, be sure to check with your employer.
Gather And Organize Supporting Evidence For Tax Deductions
If you’re claiming deductions, consider the following:
You can deduct contributions to a self-employed retirement account and/or traditional IRA, As such, be sure to compile a list of your retirement account contributions.
You can also claim deductions for college tuition, fees and student loan interest. Form 1098-E will have information about your student loan interest, whereas form 1098-T shows education transactions.
If you have medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, you may be able to write off your medical costs. Gather any and all documentation you have that could support the deduction.
Charitable donations can also be written off, but only if you have supporting documents.
Lastly, you may be able to deduct various state and local taxes (such as property taxes). If you have questions about the types of state and local taxes that qualify as deductions, be sure to ask your accountant.
When you begin to gather receipts for things that you think you can write off, try to sort and organize them as best you can. If you show up at your tax appointment with everything shoved into a shoebox, you won’t be doing yourself (or your accountant) any favors.
If you have questions about the types of documents you should gather in advance of a tax prep appointment, or the types of things you can (and can’t) write off, call Hughes Snell & Co. today to learn more.