The document that seems to scare us the most is the Tax Organizer, the document we send you to help you collect your tax information. It looks like so much work, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some dos & don’ts for handling your organizer.
Each tax season we are asked, “do I really have to fill out the organizer completely”? There are parts of the organizer that you need to complete and others for which you can simply provide the supporting documents that were issued to you (ie: 1099 or other documents) without transcribing the information into the organizer.
To make sure we receive the most accurate information, please do the following:
1. Answer the Questions! The questionnaire pages helps the prepare understand any changes in your life and your financial situation and determine which taxes or deductions might apply to you this year. It will also help with future tax planning.
2. Use the Organizer as a Guide. Use the organizer as a guide to identify which forms and information were part of your tax submission last year. This should prompt you to either find the current years information OR identify a change income or deductions. Perfect example – if you sold stock or real estate, closed an account, had a new source of income, or a new deduction, find the documents that substantiate this.
3. No Supporting document? Write it in the organizer. For any income or
deduction for which you do not have supporting document, record the
information in the organizer. If you closed an account, make a note on the organizer. Many accounts have stopped mailing 1099s & other documents. If you think you are missing something, log into your account on-line & print the document directly from your account.
4. It’s OK to use your own Lists-Most of the Time. To clarify “your own list”, if you would like to create a spread sheet showing charitable donations OR home expenses related to your home office deductions that would perfect. Simply write a note “see attached list” in the organizer in the space that asks for that information.
Guidelines for smoother tax preparation experience:
1. DO write in the organizer any information that is not on your supporting documents
2. DON’T write information in the organizer that is already provided by one of your supporting documents. You don’t want us to spend (costly) time identifying and resolving discrepancies between the organizer and the supporting documents. For example, do not write in your wages, simply provide your W2(s).
3. DO write any questions you may have in the organizer, on the page that prompted your question(s). For example, if you aren’t sure about whether your massage therapy is tax deductible, write that question on the page that asks about medical deductions. If it is a general question, use the notes page.
Following these tips will help you properly complete our organizer, complete your tax package and deliver it on time to Jellison CPA. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the office.