Monday 01/25/2016

6 Ways to Get Organized for Tax Season

According to Chris Eichmuller, CPA this tax season can be your most effortless one yet with some simple organization tips:

 

 

Getting your files and receipts together before filing your taxes can seem like an overwhelming job. The truth is, staying organized is an everyday habit instead of a yearly task, and it can make your accountant’s job much easier for both of you! Here are a few tips to making your tax return preparation smoother.

  1. Give your documents a home. Designate a shelf, basket, envelope, or cubby hole somewhere in your house to hold all of the important documents you’ll end up searching for during tax season.
  2. Start collecting tax documents. Now that you have a place to hold all your documents, use it.   Remember to open all envelopes and review those tax statements for accuracy. Sometimes investment statements are periodically corrected, so please remember to provide the most updated version.
  3. Make sure you have all necessary documentation. Take a moment to think about anything unusual that happened in the past year with income or deductions. Do you have proper documentation for that? If not, go back through your records or contact the company to request the missing information.
  4. Remember any charitable contributions. Did you make any donations in the past year- cash or non-cash? Find those receipts, thank-you letters, and drop-off slips. Ensure that you include the value of non-cash contributions, like a clothing donation.
  5. Tally those deductions. Give us a summary of any real estate taxes paid directly to the county (not through your mortgage), medical expenses paid, or political contributions made. A spreadsheet or list helps us to work more efficiently, focus on your return, and look for any missing valuable deductions.
  6. Take advantage of the client questionnaire! Corrigan Krause sends out an annual client questionnaire and organizer to help you double-check that you have all necessary information together. It’s an invaluable tool for tying up all loose ends before filing.

Staying on top of the daily mail with the “important tax document” stamp can help the tax preparation process be less daunting. Once you have everything together, give us a call, send us an email, or upload your information to our new portal.  We are looking forward to another successful tax season with you!

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