Chris Eichmuller, CPA is a senior manager at Corrigan Krause.
In 2019, we learned about revolutionary new methods of cleaning and organizing our homes and workspaces. We here at Corrigan Krause do not recommend throwing away everything that does not spark joy – as that would likely make your 2020 tax season even more difficult than it needs to be! Here are a few more tips for making your 2020 tax return preparation smoother:
1. Find a home for your documents.
This could be a shelf, drawer, or envelope to hold all of the documents you’ll need during tax season.
2. Double-check that you have all of the necessary documentation.
These documents might include W-2s, 1900s, Profit/Loss statements, Expense reports, gambling winnings, scholarships, and more. Consider the following:
A. Did anything unusual happen in the past year regarding y our income or deductions?
B. If something unusual did occur this year, do you have the proper documentation for it? (If you don’t – contact the company to request the missing information.)
C. Do you have any rental properties? (You’ll need those receipts!)
3. 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. Be sure that you include the value of non-cash contributions, like a clothing donation.
4. Summarize your deductions.
When you come into our office, we will need a summary of any real estate taxes paid directly to the county (not through your mortgage), medical expenses paid, or political contributions made. We suggest making a spreadsheet of these expenses!
5. 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 the necessary information together. It’s an invaluable tool for tying up all loose ends before filing. Keep an eye out for this questionnaire in January 2020!
Don’t forget to stay on top of your daily mail – especially those letters with the “important tax document” stamp – and your email during tax season. We suggest filing away these pieces of mail as soon as you receive them, to make your tax preparation process a little less daunting. Once you have everything together, give us a call, send us an email, or upload your information to our portal. We are looking forward to another successful tax season with you!