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How to be Fully Ready for Tax Season

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Be ready for tax season? It isn’t as daunting as it sounds!  We’ve put together an extensive list of how to be fully ready for tax season.

Preparing for taxes

It’s the time of year, quarter 4 of the year and you’re wondering how you can prepare for tax season. When it comes to being fully ready for tax season, there are probably a slight few of us who are truly ready.

It’s normal to need some advice, tips, and suggestions during this tedious time of year and that’s why I’m sharing this extensive list of how to be fully ready for tax season so that you can have all bases covered and feel ready for this inevitable time of year.

How to Find a Good CPA

Using a CPA, a certified public accountant, will ensure that you complete your taxes accurately every year. The key to hiring a CPA is to do your due diligence in researching to find the best CPA in your area. You’ll want to make sure that the person who’s completing your taxes has a license and is certified as a public accountant.

The first step is to ask family, friends, and colleagues to find out who they use during tax season. Now that you have a list of recommended CPA’s from people who you trust, it’s time to follow a few more steps:

• Be sure the CPA is licensed to do tax preparation and filing in your state.
• Ask for a few references from the CPA that you can call to discuss how they’d rate the services this CPA provided them.
• Be sure to check rates for all of the recommended CPA’s because you’ll want to stay within budget while being certain you’re hiring a well-qualified CPA.

While you can hire a CPA online these days, it’s best to find a good local CPA so that you can have a face to face meeting with physical paperwork and such. This will ensure that you’re able to feel secure knowing that every base was covered during your tax preparation this tax season.

What do I need to Bring to my Tax Appointment?

This is an important question to cover in order to be fully ready for tax season. Now that you’ve researched and committed to a good CPA, it’s time to learn what documents you’ll need to bring to your tax appointment.

• When meeting a CPA for the first time you’ll need to bring along your social security card as well as your Employer Identification Number if applicable.
• Bring your form W2 as well as any 1099 forms you’ve received for work completed throughout the current tax year.
• Bring any paperwork pertaining to retirement funds, social security benefits, or proceeds from any real estate sale and similar documents received by the IRS.
• If child care expenses apply to your current tax season situation, be certain you have proof of all child care expenses to include with your tax preparation.
• Prior year tax return to help the CPA compare each year to the current year in case you missed some paperwork or circumstances for your tax filing.

Extra Tips to Be Fully Prepared for Tax Season

Now that you’ve found a good CPA and know most of the documentation that you should bring to your first appointment with your CPA it’s time to go over a few extra tips to ensure that you’re fully prepared for tax season.

• If you’ve had a change in relationship status you’ll want to review what your filing status should be. You may wish to file head of household, or perhaps single versus married due to relationship circumstances that have changed. Your CPA will be able to best advise you for what status to file under.
• Review your prior year tax filing to help refresh your memory of paperwork that you may have forgotten about this tax season. Check out what you used for a list of expenses so that you can get your expenses prepared for your first meeting with your CPA.
• Look for ways to optimize your refund or reduce your tax risks based on a review of your prior year tax return. There may be new tax deductions that you can take advantage of this year too, simply discuss these questions with your CPA.

Now that you’ve prepared for this tax season, it’s time to get a head start on your next tax season. Once you’ve been able to have a good meeting with your CPA and they’ve helped you file taxes, it’s time to set up a system to be more prepared at the end of the current year.

Tax season sneaks up on us every single year, it’s best to use my tips to prepare yourself for this tax season as well as other tax years to come.

 

Preparing for taxes

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