Steps to Take Before Preparing Your Taxes

Believe it or not, it’s tax time once again. Even if you’re hiring a professional to do your taxes (which we always recommend), there are a few steps you need to take to ensure your taxes are filed correctly and on time. Keep reading to learn the answer to the age-old question, “What are the steps I can take before filing my taxes this year?”

Choose a tax preparer

First things first, you’ll want to find a tax preparer. As we mentioned, we always advise letting a CPA tackle your taxes. Tax preparation specialists take the burden of tax season off your shoulders, and they ensure your taxes are filed properly. If something does happen and you get penalized or are audited, your CPA helps you navigate the waters and makes the process as painless as possible.

Your best bet for finding a CPA is to ask your friends or family members who they use for their taxes. If everyone you know files on their own, look up some tax preparers online and read their reviews. Obviously, you should only choose a CPA with consistent five-star reviews.

Gather your documents

You can’t walk into your meeting with your CPA empty handed. One of the more time-consuming steps to take before filing taxes in 2022 is finding all of your crucial documents. A couple of the most common forms include a W2 for those who are employed, and a 1098 for those with a mortgage. Your CPA should let you know everything you need to bring prior to your first meeting with them.

Find your receipts

Along with those documents mentioned above, you’ll need to bring in receipts for various expenses incurred throughout 2021. The receipts you need depend on whether you’re itemizing your deductions or claiming the standard deduction. Again, your tax pro can help you figure out which receipts you need and which deduction you should take.

List your personal information

Next on the list of steps you can take before filing taxes this year is finding personal information. Filers don’t just need to know their Social Security numbers—they’ll need the Social Security number of each dependent. Without those Social Security numbers, along with some other personal information, your tax preparer won’t be able to submit your taxes.

Plan ahead for a refund

Hopefully, you’ll receive a nice refund in 2022. If that’s the case, you have a few ways to choose how it’s handled. The IRS can send you a check or deposit the money directly into your bank account, or you can use some or all of your refund to help cover next year’s taxes if you expect that you’ll owe money. Refunds can also be placed in IRAs, health savings accounts or education savings accounts.

Schedule your appointment today

The sooner you start these steps to take before filing taxes in 2022, the better. To help ensure you get the biggest refund and never have to worry about IRS penalties, work with our CPAs at Lion Rex ATA Inc. Contact us today to set up your appointment.