3 things you can do to make your accountant happy at tax time
Want to be your accountant’s favorite client? Use these tips to prepare for your tax return appointment, and you’ll be a shoo-in for #1.
Want to be your accountant’s favorite client? (Well, even more than you are now, of course. Which is a lot. Trust us. We’ve asked.) The key is to take a bit of time now to start preparing for your tax return appointment, so your accountant has everything they need, when they need it, to complete your return.
Of course, as a favorite client, you already know that the days of dropping off a shoebox of receipts and tax documents at the front desk…waiting for a call to let you know you forgot such-and-such documents…stopping by to drop off the missing info…waiting for the call that your return is done…then stopping in to pick up the finished return, is in the past. (Thank goodness, right?)
Today’s financial world has evolved to a near-breathtaking level of efficiency and digital delivery. So much, in fact, that you don’t even have to drop the information off in person anymore. And that is exactly what some firms prefer.
We have some options for reducing the usual communication volleys between you and your accountant. Plus, we’ve included some tips on how you can make your tax return appointment more convenient and productive for both of you this year.
1. Check your formatting
Before you submit your tax information, check with your accountant’s office to confirm which format they prefer for your documents. Are they fine with paper? Or do they prefer to have documents submitted digitally via their firm’s secure online client center?
2. Be ready for appointment day
On the day you meet with your accountant, have the following information available:
Your photo ID
Your updated contact information (phone numbers, mailing address, email address)
Up-to-date spouse and dependent information (birthdates, Social Security numbers, etc.)
Bank account and routing numbers (or a voided check) for direct deposit of refund
Confirmation that the online platforms you use to exchange information with your accountant have been set up and are working correctly
General information that’s easy to overlook, such as:
Records to support your charitable contributions
Records to support your retirement contributions
Records to support your business mileage
It’s not a bad idea to check with your accountant ahead of time to see if there’s anything else in particular they’d like you to bring on appointment day.
3. Have your pen (or virtual pen) in hand
We’re pretty sure most accountants have pens galore available for you, but if you have a favorite pen (hey, some people do!), have it with you to sign any engagement letters your accountant needs you to execute.
Whether you meet with your accountant in person or virtually, a little planning, preparedness, good communication and even the right pen will make you an unbeatable team at tax time. (Plus, it’ll make your accountant happy. Because they want to make sure you’re all set for another year of success.)
So, if you have any pre-appointment questions about your tax documents, give your tax and accounting team a call. They’d love to hear from you! (Trust us. We asked.)