Preparing for your appointment with your tax professional sounds about as much fun as preparing to have gum surgery. Rest assured, it isn’t as harrowing or as dread-inducing as a visit to the oral surgeon. We are here for you, and want your experience with us to be something that is stress-free. With that in mind, here are a few tips for preparing for your appointment with us.
First of all, we want you to know you are in good hands. Relax. Take a load off. We want you to feel welcome when you come for your first appointment. Your first appointment serves a couple of purposes, but it mainly serves as an intake to collect your tax data.
Use the Tools on Our Website
Take a few minutes to look at our website. We have a lot of tools available to help you determine what documents you need to bring with you. Generally, we suggest bringing whatever governmental forms you have as well as all tax information. We would rather have you bring too much information with you than not enough. Don’t worry if you forget something–we can always get it later. There are also some excellent worksheets available on our site to help you determine what you might need to bring with you for your appointment.
Preparing to Get Organized
You don’t necessarily need to bring us a spreadsheet of every transaction you have had since the start of 2015. But we also don’t get super excited about seeing a shoebox (in fact, we don’t accept shoeboxes) or a Walmart bag full of your McDonald’s receipts. Spreadsheets are fine, but what we really need are totals of amounts you are hoping to deduct. Keep good records (check out our post on keeping records of donations here), and if you aren’t sure where to start let us know. We can work on that.
Consider a Remote Appointment
Time is something that none of us seem to have enough of. We understand there are days when you barely have the time to squeeze in a bathroom break, let alone setting aside the time to meet with a tax professional. That is why we offer remote appointments. We can work with you via email to fit around YOUR schedule. We can request your tax data electronically by using a secure Dropbox link, as well. Of course, we can also confer by phone if you have any additional questions or concerns which aren’t addressed via email.
We want to make having your taxes prepared as easy and stress-free as possible for you. Once we have everything we need to prepare your taxes, we typically process them in a week (or less) for uncomplicated returns and two weeks (or less) for more complex tax situations. Once we have submitted your return, the IRS usually has them processed within 21 days. What does that mean for you? Well, first of all, it means the sooner you get in to see us, the sooner we can determine your tax needs. It also means that if you DO owe, we can have that information to you as quickly as possible to allow you more time to pay by the deadline of April 18, 2016. The IRS offers good payment plans with low interest rates, as well as a variety of other ways to pay. And if you are expecting a refund, the sooner we get your taxes prepared and filed, the sooner you can expect to receive your refund.