Having information and documentation well organized can maximize returns
Whether you are running your own business, working for someone else or retired and living off savings, you can better manage your finances when you have things organized and accessible.
Long-time Dallas CPA Ron Allen, who owns his own tax and accounting firm, suggested several ways to help make sure your information and documentation is in top shape to help you maximize your money as tax season gets into full swing.
• Ask for and use any tax organizer or detailed spreadsheets provided by your preparer. If you’re returning to the same preparer you used the previous year, the organizer should show your information from the prior year, and spreadsheets may be available for special circumstances, such as rental property income and expenses, self-employment income and expenses, and cost basis of stock sales.
• Be sure to inform your preparer of any significant changes in your information from last year. For example, the purchase, sale or refinance of real estate; an inheritance from an estate; contributing to the support of an elderly parent or other person; change in dependent status, etc.
• Changes in contact information such as mailing address, email address and telephone numbers should be communicated to your tax return preparer as they happen throughout the year.
• Sort your deduction receipts into categories as indicated on your organizer or spreadsheet, and total them for your preparer. This greatly assists in accuracy.
• Be sure that your name appears on each document that you send to your preparer.
• And finally, when your income tax return is completed, make sure you read and understand your return completely. If necessary ask your preparer questions so you know for sure what your return says.
Ron Allen, a former IRS agent, is a certified public accountant with a master’s degree in accounting. His firm offers tax return preparation, accounting services, estate and trust planning and tax preparation, bookkeeping write-up services, payroll services, litigation support and forensic accounting services, IRS representation, mergers, acquisitions and sales services and entity selection and restructuring services.
For more information visit RonAllenCPA.com or call 214-954-0042.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February, 24, 2017.