It’s never too early to begin preparing your taxes for next year. Waiting until the last minute to file your taxes can be super stressful for you and your accountant. As an added bonus, the earlier you bring all of your papers in to your CPA, the more quickly your accountant will be able to get your refund back to you. Keep in mind, however, that dropping all of your papers off on an accountant’s desk doesn’t mean you’ve properly prepared your taxes. Here are a few of the steps you can take for more productive tax preparation in Sacramento, CA:
- Choose an accountant soon: CPAs get booked up pretty quickly this time of year, and you don’t want to get stuck without one by the time April rolls around. Ask your friends and family to refer you to a good and fair accountant. Be sure to ask about the preparer’s fees before you agree to have him or her work on your taxes.
- Make an appointment: Once you’ve found a preparer that you’d like to work with, schedule a meeting with him or her. Again, the longer you wait to meet with your preparer, the longer it’ll take to get the process underway—and get your refund back.
- Gather your tax forms: By the end of next month, you should have received a nice stack of papers in the mail that are necessary to file taxes. The most common form people get is probably a W-2 from employers, and various 1099 forms related to any other sources of income, like Social Security benefits. Your CPA will be able to tell you all of the forms you’ll need during your initial meeting.
- Get all of your receipts together: You can opt to take deductions for certain items rather than the standard deduction. Of course, you’ll need itemized receipts to do that. You can also take deductions for medical bills that weren’t covered by your insurance company. If you own a business, you’ll need receipts for business expenses and records from your accounting system (such as QuickBooks).
- Find your donation records: Donating to charities makes you feel good, and can earn you a larger return in 2017. Make sure you bring in proof of your donations in order to get more money back!
- Have a list of personal information: In addition to the information listed above, your CPA will need some basic information about you. Hopefully you already know your Social Security number, but your accountant will also need some information that may harder to remember. Examples include: dates you’ve moved, previous addresses and addresses of vacation homes or rental properties. Again, this is different for each individual, and your CPA will let you know what info they’ll need during your meeting.
- Bring last year’s return: Your preparer will need a copy of your 2015 return in order to complete 2016’s taxes. Since you should be saving several years’ worth of tax information anyway, this should hopefully be easy to produce.
Getting all of this information together will make your CPA’s life a lot easier, and can end up saving you money in the long run. Start your tax preparation in Sacramento, CA today by giving the professional accountants at Yoder & Co., CPA a call to schedule a consultation!