John M. Hoffman & Associates CPAs
A friend of John's asked him how to best be
organized when it comes to tax preparation. While this might sound like an
obvious question, let's not forget that the only stupid questions are the ones
that people are afraid to ask.
Being organized helps everybody. It helps the
client taxpayer by:
Making the client taxpayer's life easier in
getting the materials together.
Helps to assure that the tax return is
complete and accurate.
Reduces tax preparation fees (less of our
time is less of your money).
Tips for being organized:
Rather than having multiple investment
accounts, consider having them consolidated under fewer roofs. We absolutely
discourage people from holding securities in their own name in certificate
form and highly recommend having them held in "street" name at an insured
Fewer bank accounts.
Fewer charitable organizations. Rather than
giving $25 to 100 organizations, consider giving $250 to 10 organizations.
We are convinced your dollar goes further that way and it helps towards
Understand your finances. Have a grip on what
effects your taxes and what does not. That way you will know what we need and
what we don't.
A place for everything and everything in its
place. When all of those tax forms come in during January, have a safe place to
put them (how about the folder we provide)? Consider taking a look at the forms
and checking them off so you know what you have and what you are waiting for.
During the year, use that safe place to set aside other tax documents.
Have a place that you can access all tax related
disbursements. Whether that be your checking account to track down real estate
taxes, or some combination of checking account and credit card, keeping it
organized makes it easier for you.
Use e-mail to communicate - it is so much more