Are your accounting papers ready to file your taxes? If you’re like most people, probably not. For the truly organized, it’s best to have a filing system going all year long so that when it’s time for the day of reckoning with Uncle Sam and his relatives who work at the IRS, you’ll be prepared. There aren’t very many people who enjoy this process although the ones who get refunds may be looking forward to it like one more Christmas, Kwanza or Hanukah of gifts. For the ones who have to scrounge up all their paperwork and pay a hefty tab of taxes, this is not a joyous event to anticipate. Still, it is a fact of life if you want to stay on the friendly side of prison bars, so you better get ready. Here are some tips for pulling off this feat for yet another year.Locate Documents Your Accountant NeedsPaperwork that the accountant will likely need includes last year’s taxes, mortgage statements, charity deductions, tuition statements, bank statements, W-2s, 1099s and any other documents that show what was earned or spent that was tax deductible. Because the “what’s deductible” column changes every year, it’s important to have a pro looking over your documents. One way to get fairly organized is to have a large manila envelope with “Taxes for 20XX” on it. As all those end-of-year statements start showing up in your mailbox, don’t even put them on the counter. Immediately place them in said manila envelope. By mid-February of a calendar year, they should all be at your house in that handy spot. Some individuals choose to have theirs sent to them electronically and for these techy types, it will be necessary to print and stick that paper in the envelope for the accounting professional to see. If there are certain papers that never arrive, contact your employer, bank or whoever and ask them to send a copy. Sometimes things get lost in the mail or sent to the wrong address.When To Make An AppointmentTaxes must be filed by April 15th, but April 14th is not the day to try to get in to see your CPA or bookkeeper. By that day, those number crunchers are swamped and exhausted and they will simply laugh at you for procrastinating. Instead, it’s wise to get this chore done as soon as possible, such as mid-February. By getting the task completed early, a person will beat the rush, will have a fresh accounting professional to work with, will be able to save up for taxes owed or get a refund sooner than later. Getting this chore taken care of, no matter whether money is owed or not, will take a weight off one’s shoulders. It’s much better to know the score than to spend sleepless nights worrying about it.When it comes to gathering up the accounting paperwork to get ready for the tax man, earlier is always better than later. With a bit of organization and wherewithal, it will all be over sooner than you thought.
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Save the headache to a Cincinnati accounting firm for your taxes. To find a top notch company near you, visit: www.fhf-cpa.com.