Does thinking of April 15th put you or your clients in a state of panic? Many accountants send out Tax Organizer booklets in January, but not all clients use them. Some people have alternate systems in place that help them present their accountants with all the necessary information in an organized manner.
Regardless of the method, there is value in streamlining the materials sent to accountants, who are most efficient when provided with the tools to do the job: accurate statements about income, expenses, and deductions. By preparing an organized package and sending it in a timely manner, you or your clients are assured that the accountant has all the relevant information, allowing time to address the bigger tax issues.
Unfortunately, accountants are often presented with huge piles of disorganized documents and receipts. Sorting through these files for multiple clients can make the fast-approaching April 15th tax return deadline seem like it appears in the blink of an eye; it is no wonder that so many clients need to have extensions filed.
Take the Panic Out of Preparing for Tax Season: A Client’s Story
After taking over the finances for her family, Carolyn spoke with her accountant to inform him that she hired a personal finance manager earlier in the year—Eddy & Schein Group. He was unfamiliar with this service, but Carolyn was already appreciating the benefits of the support provided by Rebecca Eddy of Eddy & Schein. Carolyn and Rebecca entered a year’s worth of checking information into Quicken. When tax season rolled around, Carolyn pulled out two huge Redweld file folders filled with receipts that she and her husband had been collecting. These were similar to what her husband had given their accountant each year in the past. The arrival of a Tax Organizer Booklet from her accountant proved completely overwhelming. However, with Rebecca’s help, she worked her way through the file folders and Tax Organizer.
Together, they sorted tax-deductible receipts and threw out irrelevant papers. By comparing the supporting documents, they checked the accuracy of the Quicken report they had printed for the previous year. They then used the relevant 1099s to fill out the Tax Organizer. In the end, Carolyn delivered an organized packet to the accountant: a four-page Quicken report, the completed Tax Organizer, and a folder of 1099s. She was prepared to hand it over before the end of February. The accountant was elated and commended Carolyn on her judgment to acquire professional assistance.
Moving forward into tax season, we at Eddy & Schein Group have some recommendations to reduce what can be a stressful process. Download a free copy of our Tax Season Tip Sheet.
Tax returns range in complexity from the very simple to the extremely complicated, but the basic concept of preparing your tax materials is the same. If you or someone you know still feels too overwhelmed, a personal finance manager can help.