Tax season is a busy time of year for many. When you are preparing for taxes, it is important to gather all of the important information ahead of time. This leaves room for less errors and helps ensure that your taxes will be filed on time. Here are some tips when preparing for taxes and what your tax professional needs from you.
Staying Organized While Preparing For Taxes
Organization is key when preparing for taxes. You need to have a system in place for keeping track of important financials, expenses, business documents, and tax documents. If you are scrambling to gather this information right before your taxes are due, you run the risk of inaccurate information being filed and/or filing late. This leads to unnecessary scrutiny from the IRS which could result in penalties and fines.
Wile physical records are important and should be filed neatly, there are many apps available that can really help expedite the process. Some of our favorites are:
QuickBooks Self Employed
QuickBooks Self Employed is great for small businesses or freelancers who have multiple income streams. This app allows users to snap a picture of a receipt so it can be properly classified. This helps when seeing which deductions are applicable to your business.
FreshBooks is another great app, perfect for small businesses. It also allows users to snap pictures of receipts and classify them. It also is useful for invoicing clients and can help you run important reports like month end reports and expense reports. In addition, you can create a user ID for your tax professional so that they have all the information at their fingertips. FreshBooks also syncs well with other apps like MileIQ (a mileage tracking app) and PayPal.
Expensify is a great option because it seamlessly syncs with many other apps you may be using like TSheets or Quickbooks. It effortlessly automates the whole expense management process.
And allows users to reconcile credit card expenses, track mileage, and stay compliant.
What You Need to Prepare Your Taxes
When preparing for taxes you will need to gather all of your important tax documents. Some information your tax professional may require from you includes:
- Taxpayers information: Social Security Number or tax ID number, DOB, drivers license, contact information
- Spouse’s information (if married): name, Social Security, DOB
- Dependents information (if any):name, Social Security, DOB, daycare information
- Income information: W2’s, 1099’s
- Debt cancellation 1099-C
- Dates and installments of estimated tax payments
- Business income: K1’s, Profit and Loss statement, or access to accounting software
- Education expenses: tuition paid 1098-T, student loan interest paid 1098-E
- Investment/retirement income: escrow closing docs – buyers/sellers statement, brokerage accounts (1099-DIV, 1099-B, 1099-INT), IRA or 401(K) contributions 1099-R
- Property: property tax statements, mortgage expenses
- Health care expenses: proof of insurance (1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C), HSA contributions, medical expenses paid
- Itemized deductions: charitable contributions (over $500), education expenses (books, tuition, ect), DMV registration and other local taxes (not including property taxes)
Meeting With Your Tax Pro
When meeting with your tax professional, it is important that you have all of the important information they will need handy. If you are working with a new tax professional, they won’t have all of your information on file, so providing your previous years tax return is a good idea. Remember working with a tax professional helps you save time, money, and can help you rest assured your taxes are getting filed correctly and on time. For more tips on preparing for taxes subscribe to our newsletter.