If you’ve already committed to working with a professional to get your 2015 taxes sorted out, congratulations! That’s the first step to ensuring a successful, accurate and efficient tax return. But even if you’ve found a trustworthy professional and scheduled an appointment, your preliminary work is not yet complete—there’s still the matter of making sure you’re as prepared as possible for that appointment.
While meeting with a professional for tax preparation in Des Moines, IA will certainly be worth your time and money, you can make the process go even more smoothly by bringing the necessary materials to your meeting. Here’s a look at seven key things you’ll want to assemble ahead of time:
- Proper identification: While instances of people filing under false identities are quite rare, you still need to be able to prove your identity to your tax preparer. Bring along a photo ID, Social Security card and proof of address to be on the safe side.
- W-2s and other wage statements: Your employer should provide a W-2 form by the end of January. If you have had more than one employer this year, either through part-time work or because you switched jobs, be sure you have all W-2s and wage statements.
- 1099s and other forms: Don’t forget about your other income! 1099 forms may be issued for all kinds of income, from unemployment benefits and health care reimbursements to work performed as an independent contractor. It’s critical that all of your income be accounted for.
- Information about dependents: If you’ll be claiming anyone as a dependent on your tax return, you’ll need to have information about them, as well. Dates of birth and Social Security cards are generally sufficient for children, but ask your tax preparer to be sure.
- Last year’s return: While the rise of online tax preparation has made it easier than ever to access old returns, it’s still not a bad idea to bring prior returns to your meeting, as they may make for easier tax preparation in Des Moines, IA.
- Receipts for deductions: Tax deductions for charitable donations, job-related expenses, health care coverage, mortgages and more can play a huge role in determining the size of your refund. Save your receipts throughout the year, keep them organized and bring them to your appointment.
- Any questions you might have: Is there something you’re curious about when it comes to your taxes? Are you wondering whether an expense might be deductible? If you have questions related to your tax return, don’t assume you’ll remember them on the spot. Keep a running list so you’ll have access when you need it.
The list above is not comprehensive, as every individual’s tax situation is different. This is why it makes sense to discuss your needs with your tax preparer before your meeting and get a sense of everything you might need to bring along.
Working with Accounting & Tax Professionals, PLC can provide the security and expertise you need to feel confident about the accuracy of your tax return. To schedule an appointment with one of our representatives, or to learn more about how to best prepare for your meeting, please give us a call today!