Winters are tough, and just when you emerge from your home on the first nice days of spring, you realize it's tax season (rest assured, every tax pro is prepared). You grumble and throw a fit because your tax planning has been less than stellar. Now, even though tax season comes around the same time every, single year, we seem to find ourselves completely lost as to where to begin the process of reporting our taxes to Uncle Sam.
This season can be different, though, because you have begun considering hiring a tax planning professional to help get your financial station in life at least a bit more organized. The problem is you may have never worked with a tax planning pro, so where do you start? You've become so used to the idea that even though your tax work wasn't perfect, it was at least free. Now, with an investment in a tax pro service, you're wondering if it's the right idea.
Here are five reasons finding the right tax professional is not only a smart decision but can save you a lot of money:
1. Provide Info on Your Income – You need to be able to provide detailed information about the income coming into your home. This includes you and your spouse. Keep in mind you also have to declare income from side jobs as well as investments. The great thing is your tax expert will shine some light on where you can actually add deductions to your taxes, which means more money in your pocket.
2. Account For Your Banking – A tax pro can take your bank account information, individual accounts or joint accounts, and let you know where they belong on your tax return. No more guessing games as inconsistencies can lead to audits down the road.
3. Make Note of Your Deductions – Deductions are categorized as either business (ie, utility bills, mileage, office supplies). or non-business (ie, property taxes, student loans, charitable donations), and your tax guru can help you see if there is money you're missing out on.
4. Have Tax Documents Ready to Go – Sometimes you'll be asked to provide pay stubs, previous tax returns, investment records, and pension information. This level of detail is key because the right tax professional will demand no less. It's all about accountability on your part of the process.
5. Don't Expect Immediate Answers & Numbers – Your tax professional needs to be able to assess your financial situation, and that takes time. They need to crunch the numbers to find out what type of money you may owe the IRS. Moreover, they may actually be able to look at your tax history and see if there is money that is owed to you.
Even if this is your first time working with a tax pro, always remember that it is a step that is never too late to make.