Tax Season Has Arrived. By Antonio York, CPA, EA, CIA, MBA:
Secure your appointment today [firstname.lastname@example.org 818-666-9727]. Here are a few life-long tax appointment tips:
1) Prior to coming in for an appointment, please open your tax documents. Firstly, because there might be mistakes in the documents that you need to clear up. Secondly, there may be surprises (e.g., oh wait – they sent me someone else’s W2!).
2) I know a lot of people enjoy rushing to file their tax return immediately after receiving their W2. However, it’s always safer to wait because for 1099’s and W2’s, etc. the deadline to send those documents from the company to you is January 31st. This means that your prematurely-filed tax return can give you serious problems later.
3) If you received health insurance in a county/city/state program and it was an offshoot of Obamacare, please wait to until you receive the 1095-A…your tax return can be filed without it, but you’ll regret it. You’ll have to amend/update it, and that's not free – so it’s better to be patient.
4) I can do partial and complete remote tax sessions. This means you do not need to come into the office to have your taxes prepared. You do not need to live near me or ever have lived close-by for me to prepare your tax return.
5) If you had major life changes, please mention that information (e.g., babies born, home purchases, long-distance moves, marriages) please mention those to me prior to our meeting. I may recommend that you come prepared with additional documentation. Also, in the future, consider having a conversation with me about such events prior to our tax appointment.
6) For children, please come with proof that they reside with you.
7) For those with complex changes (e.g., I moved to a new state, liquidated my 401k to purchase a new home) or those who have successful businesses (e.g., you make money that you have to pay self-employment tax on) consider making a tax planning appointment during the year of the occurrence. This helps to minimize surprises during tax season…and coaching can assist with making the appropriate decisions. Sometimes there’s more than one way to skin a "cat" and some options may present a 5 or 10 or 40 thousand dollar cheaper tax bill compared to the other.