Every year I send out tax organizers to my clients in hopes that it will help them understand what information I need to prepare their taxes accurately and efficiently. The tax organizer itself is not very complicated, but it can be lengthy and intimidating. My advice to you is to begin completing the organizer with the easy stuff: your name, address, social security number, date of birth, and the same information for your spouse and dependents.
However, if you’re using the same tax accountant as the year before and all of your information is the same, you don’t need to fill this portion out as they will already have this in their system. That alone saves you about ten minutes!
Take the time to look at each category of the tax organizer and use them as a checklist. Only indicate changes in your address, filing status and dependents but leave them blank if they are the same as last year. If you have W-2’s, you don’t need to fill this portion of the organizer out. Instead, simply clip your original W-2’s to the back of the organizer as well as any other documents reporting income (i.e. 1099, K-1, SSA-1099, 1099-G, 1099INT, 1099OID and 1099DIV). You don’t need to transfer the information over to the organizer if you include the forms with your packet.
Now let’s talk deductions. You will save your tax accountant time and save yourself money if you start adding up your deductions by category and filling in the appropriate boxes with totals. For example, if you have a stack of medical receipts go ahead and add them up and enter them on the appropriate medical expense line.
Every shred of information you provide up front saves your tax accountant time because they won’t have to call you to ask you more questions. If your tax accountant charges by the hour, it takes time to call or email you to hunt down information or forms that was listed in the organizer. Taking the time to compile all of your information up front, using the tax organizer as a guide, and turning all of your tax information in together can save your tax accountant a lot of time and you money!