So...it's the dreaded tax season again..ugh. Sorry to burst your happy bubble, but it's time to get down to business and get our taxes done! No more waiting until the last minute, no excuses! Since I am an accountant, I feel like I should do a post on taxes to motivate you to get your taxes done on time. This will be my third tax season to work, so I'm here to give you a few tips on what accountant's like, and don't like, to see when you bring in your tax information.
*Disclosure*-This information is based solely on what I have seen and experienced working on taxes!!
- Make sure you have all of the papers the accountant needs to complete your return. I don't know how many times people have come in with the wrong forms, or forgot a page. Your CPA probably has sent you an organizer that has your information from the previous year on it to help guide you in the papers you may need this year.
- Put the papers in order of the tax return. When you put them in order of the return, it makes the entering process for the accountant a lot quicker, thus, getting your refund back faster.
- Take your forms out of the envelopes, and keep the envelopes. I had so many people bring me their papers that were still in the envelopes, SEALED! They hadn't even opened them yet!
- Please, please, please do not staple all of your papers to your organizer. Actually, please don't staple any of your papers together. Most CPA firms make copies of your forms to keep on file should you ever need them again, and they can't copy papers that have staples in them.
- Don't paperclip the pages together either! These are just minuscule tasks that add extra time to preparing your return. If your accountant charges by the hour, these are definitely things you want to take into consideration!!
- Do not bring in a box full of receipts. Some accounting firms will charge you more if they have to go through and add up all of your expenses. You can bring in the box of the receipts for evidence that you really did pay, but bind them together with a rubber band and have a 10-key tape of the totals added together.
I went ahead and took some pictures of how I am going to organize my papers for taxes this year. Since I am young, and am just starting out my career, I don't have a very hard return to complete, or many papers to keep track of. I added some labels just for the effect of what it would look like for someone who has more papers.
How do you prepare for taxes? Do you prepare your own return, or take it to an accountant?
Your new best friend,