It's estimated that more than half of the people filing an income tax return this year will be using an accountant or CPA. When it is finally time for that fateful meeting with your financial consultant, there are a few things that you can do to be ready ahead of time.
Many CPAs and accountants issue a tax planner for clients. The tax planner is a booklet that answers all the questions about what the client will need to bring to the tax preparation meeting and what he or she can expect will happen there. Don't bring an empty planner to your meeting. Have all of your tax documents, earnings statement, receipts, and all other necessary paperwork properly prepared for your meeting with your accountant. This will save them time, and it will save you money.
Don't be a shoebox client. You understand what this means. A shoebox client is the sort who brings everything the planner outlined, but they have it all stuffed randomly in a box with no organization or filing technique. Likely, it is stuffed into a shoebox or file box, left for sorting. Some accountants will send these clients to a bookkeeper to organize the records before they will even look at them.
Don't be a procrastinator. Procrastinators wind up calling all over town, some time in early April, looking for an accountant who can get their taxes done before the April 15 deadline. This is a near to impossible feat, as accountants tend to be booked solid through the month of April. Instead of being a procrastinator, set up your income tax meeting with your accountant as early as possible.
If you are married, save your bickering for at home. If you and your spouse have differences over your personal finances, don't air them at your accountant's office. The two of you should have a united plan for how you wish to proceed with your taxes and what it is you need your accountant to do for you. Settle all of this at home before you get to the CPA.
Misspelled tax documents are a red flag to the IRS and, therefore, your accountant. Make sure that you have filled out any requested documents properly, and that includes the small stuff, like spelling.
Don't forget to bring everything that your accountant has requested you have at the meeting. Incomplete data will cause delays and delays will cost you money.
Don't forget your checkbook. Your accountant will probably forgive any of the possible errors we have outlined to this point, but forgetting your checkbook is a most grievous error.