As much as tax professionals want to make sure they do a good job in preparing your income tax returns not one of them can do it without your help.  There are some key things that you can do to help your tax professionals do the best job for you they possibly can.

  1. If you have moved make sure they have your new address.  This may seem like a small thing, but if you move and your tax professional does not get the right address on your return, you might miss critical correspondence from the IRS or state taxing authorities.  If this happens, many times what starts as a very small issue can grow into a crisis very fast.
  2. Take time to fill out an organizer.  Most all tax professionals have the ability of sending you a tax organizer to help you not only organize your documents, but to make sure their isn’t something you have missed.  Most organizers also include a number of questions that will help you make sure your tax professional is aware of everything they need to be in order to prepare a complete and accurate return.
  3. Send all of your information in at one time.  When you send tax professionals your tax information in bits and pieces you open yourself up for the chance of one of your documents getting lost or not being included in your tax return.  Often times, tax professionals are so busy during tax season that if they are getting a number of emails from you with various documents attached they will end up missing something.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Many times tax payers don’t want to question their tax professional, because they think the professional knows more about taxes than they do.  Although this is probably true in general, you often times will know as much, or more, about your individual tax situation as your tax preparer does.  Therefore, don’t be afraid to question what has been done on your return.  Ultimately, you are the main one responsible for the return so it is important you understand it.
  5. Let your tax preparer know of life changes.  Often times your tax preparer only sees you once a year.  As a result they are very unaware of what goes on in your life on a daily basis.  Therefore, if you have had a baby, a child go off to school, or maybe you just started contributing more to your retirement, please make sure you let your tax professional know so they can make the necessary changes to your return.

By following these five tips you will find that your experience with your tax professional will be a much more rewarding one, because you will have a better chance of having a complete and accurate return filed.  Remember that your tax professional is human and is definitely capable of making mistakes if they are not correctly informed.

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