Money and Responsibility

3 Things To Do Using A Tax Preparation Service

If the thought of sorting through a year's worth of documents, receipts, and numbers feels overwhelming, it's time to hire a tax preparation service to prepare and file your taxes. Using a tax preparation professional can save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes to filing your taxes. Check out a few things you need to do when hiring a tax service.

1. Bring All Your Statements and Receipts

There are numerous tax credits and deductions that you can use to lower your income tax liability; however, to take a credit or deduction you need to have proof of your qualifying expense. This proof can be in the form of a bank statement, receipt, canceled check, or bill.

For example, if you have 1099 income from your small business, you can deduct eligible business expenses to offset this income. Assume that you pay each month for marketing services and a business bank account. Your tax professional can use both of these expenses to lower your net business income if you bring adequate documentation. 

2. Grab a Copy of Last Year's Tax Return

Before you head to your appointment with your tax service, remember to grab a copy of last year's tax return. Your previous year's return has your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Once your taxes are prepared, your tax pro will give the option to e-file your taxes or print them off and mail them to the IRS. Most people prefer to e-file their taxes; there's no paperwork involved, and it usually shortens the length of time it takes the IRS to approve your tax return and issue a refund payment.

To e-file, you'll need to have your previous tax year's AGI for identity verification. If you used your current tax service for your previous year's taxes, they'll likely have a copy of your return. If you can't find your return, you can request this information via the IRS's website. You can use the "request a tax return transcript" if the only info you need is your previous return's AGI.

3. Examine Your Return Before Signing or Approving It

Before you approve or sign your return, it's a smart idea to glance over it. You don't have to inspect every single worksheet or chart, but make sure that your personal info (like your name, address, and Social Security number) is correct.

Verify that your filing status and number of dependants are correct. Even the most seasoned tax experts can make a typing mistake; it's much easier to fix inaccurate information before your return is in route to the IRS. 

If you are in need of any tax preparation services, contact a professional near you.