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Tax Return Time: Painless Prep, Start Now

It happens every year. April 15th...

Tax Day, that most painful of deadlines when we feel the pressure of relying on our document filing systems to provide the information necessary to submit an accurate and legal return to the IRS.

Reduce the tension and pave the way to an early filing with these tips from Mary Himsel-DeGroot, CPA. Thanks for helping us out Mary!!

1. Gather your financial documents in a common area. You may have one folder for everything or a group of folders covering home, work, and charitable contributions in a shared file. Collecting documents as they arrive creates peace of mind and confidence that you are getting the full benefit on your tax return.

NOTE: Collect both digital and print documents in the same manner. Label folders with the same headings and store them in an easy to access location in your filing cabinet or on hard drive. Most CPAs will be comfortable receiving financial information in mixed formats but check with your's to learn their preferences.

2. Please Do Over Share! Provide your accountant with all of the information you believe to be relevant. If you share something that is not needed, your CPA will simply set it aside. Stopping to request documents that have been omitted takes time and delays your filing. If you are unsure, go ahead and ask.

3. Ask the Expert. If you are working with an accountant, they do not expect you to have all the answers. They are the trusted professional that you have employed to assist you. Take advantage of their knowledge and ask clarifying questions and request guidance. This is what you are paying for and it is the work in which they excel. Place your worries in their capable hands and then relax.

The end of the year approaches! Now is the time to begin preparing for a stress free tax experience. Gather any stray documents together and place a reminder on your calendar for early December to make an appoint with your CPA in early February. Get on their schedule early and watch for those critical employment documents to arrive in late January.

If you have questions or would like support in setting up a system for your financial documents, contact

If you have questions regarding tax law or filing your return, contact

We'd be happy to help you have a relaxing April 15th!

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