Whether you love filing your taxes or push it off as long as possible in fear of what you might find, tax preparation is non-negotiable. Doing all the work yourself, however, is.
Gather These Important Documents
- Last year’s tax return: To file your tax return, the tax accountant will need some important documents. If it’s your first appointment, make sure to bring last year’s tax return for their reference. This gives them a good place to start from because you may qualify for some of the same deductions or write-offs that you received last year, and the information may help them calculate this year’s return.
If you’re worried there may be some issues with older returns, bring those along as well for the accountant to review. I switched accountants a few years ago and he found that I hadn’t deducted moving expenses the previous year. He amended my previous year’s return and got me a refund for the taxes on my moving expenses.
Identify Deductible Expenses
When you take a deduction, it reduces the amount of income you have to be taxed on. So the more you deduct, the less you pay in taxes. Gathering your deductible expenses and the necessary documentation at the end of the year can take time, but it’s worth it.
Here’s a list of some expenses you may be able to deduct:
- Mortgage or home interest paid (Form 1098 )
- Tuition and education fees