John M. Hoffman & Associates CPAs
Use round dollars – do not cloud matters with all
those pennies. $10.50 = $11 and $10.49 = $10. We enter only round dollars in our tax software. Imagine how many
fewer numbers you need to give us and how many fewer numbers we need to work
with and look at if we do not get any pennies. An all time favorite for
confusion is the person who uses pennies with some numbers and not for others.
Use a clear writing instrument. If that ball
point pen needs to go to heaven, don’t hold back. You can get two or three good
BIC pens for about $1 (note the round dollar and no pennies here).
Presidential election campaign funds – this
checkbox does not increase or decrease your refund. It is much like your ballot
authorizing our government to allocate $3 from general funds to federal campaign
matching funds. Don’t spend too much time deliberating and we will try to get
your wish on the return.
Dates of birth are very important. Especially for
children because there are all kinds of deductions and credits that depend on the
child’s age. Be sure we have accurate birthdates for all taxpayers and
Social security numbers are critical. Make sure
that we have the correct numbers for all taxpayer’s and dependents (name and
number EXACTLY as on the social security card). Even if a
child was born on December 31, we still need a social security number for that
Let us know how you want us to contact you. If
you give us an email address, make sure it is an address that you reasonably
frequently check. Also, make sure that it is a confidential address as we will
assume it is. Also be careful writing down that email address as we need to read
(Do not) Give us photocopies instead or originals. We give
all of these documents back to you and it is so much easier to work with originals.
(Do not) Tear the W-2's into pieces. We scan your W-2 and
if it is in one piece we can simply drop it into the scanner. If you have torn it
apart we have to tape it together and waste our time and your money.
(DO not) Try to fax us the whole thing. It is hard enough
reading many people's penmanship, but to then have to try and read it after it
has come through our fax.....