A Beginner’s Guide To Organizing Your Tax Information

Author: Bible Harris Smith, P.C. | | Categories: Income Tax Planning , Tax Accountant , Tax Consulting


Like many people, preparing your taxes may still be a tricky exercise, and because of certain complexities and rule changes, there are high possibilities of making mistakes with tax calculations. We at Bible Harris Smith are experts at tax planning and preparation. We understand the tax preparation process, know the latest tax laws, and the best ways to save money on taxes. We are also aware of the challenges that individuals and businesses face when filing their tax returns.

To help you overcome your tax-related obstacles, we have prepared a Beginner’s Guide to organize your tax information. This guide will help you gather the correct information accurately so that our time as preparers is used judiciously. This will help you save money and eliminate unnecessary confusion when communicating with us.

Getting Started

Hire a professional: Using an accounting and tax professional should provide a level of assurance that cannot be obtained through someone strictly doing data entry. A specialized professional will take the information provided and address that specific information and ask additional questions related to that information that could lead to other areas they need to address.

Make use of an organizer: At Bible Harris Smith, we will provide you with a tax organizer each year consisting of questions for you to address and information summarizing your previous year’s information. This organizer asks many questions to trigger you and alert you on whether something new has occurred that needs to be addressed. It also serves as documentation for us and other tax experts when it comes to answering questions on the tax return. The summary of the information from the year before again triggers you to remember to seek out various tax information if you don’t already have it included in your records from earlier.

Next Steps

Do your research: Knowing what to send to a tax professional can reduce the time you spend obtaining accounting, expense, and other finance-related information and our time to interpret it. Similarly, understanding what is a personal expense versus a deductible expense can eliminate time for record gathering.

Stay organized: Organizing all the necessary information for tax preparation will help reduce our time. Utilizing software to provide summaries of information rather than having a professional dig through receipts will also make things much easier.

Communicate: If we can get on the same page from the beginning, things will go much smoother. Let us know what changed, what’s new, and what we are still waiting on. Do not be afraid to ask questions, as we are only here to help you. Not only might your questions help you in preparing your tax information, but they may also trigger us to follow up with questions of our own, providing information beneficial to the tax preparation process.

Advice From The Pros

Give us whatever you have: We like to have a substantial amount of information on hand before we start working on a tax return. That said, there are items of information that come in later than others, or you may have some paperwork that is missing. In such instances, go ahead and get us what you can. This way, we can return to that point eventually and just put in that last piece of information when the time comes rather than struggling to produce a complete return at the last minute.

Do not delay: Don’t wait until the last minute to reach out to us or submit your financial details, as tax season is the busiest period for us. If you wait for the last minute to submit your information to us, we may have to file your taxes late, depending on the circumstances. If you submit your documents and financial books early, this can be avoided. We can even have a face-to-face meeting to go over each area of income and expense to see how they impact your taxes. If you have tax returns you have filed yourself in the past, we can also look through those to determine if they have been done correctly.

If you are looking for a full-service licensed CPA firm in Knoxville, TN, then reach out to us at Bible Harris Smith. Since 1949, we have provided outstanding service to our clients based on three underlying principles: professionalism, responsiveness, and quality. We make sure that every client is served by the expertise of our whole firm. Our primary goal as a trusted advisors is to be available and to provide insightful advice to enable our clients to make informed financial decisions. We offer services like small business accounting and bookkeeping, income tax planning and preparation, assurance services, estate planning, and QuickBooks services. We serve clients across the greater East Tennessee area, including Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Maryville, Sevierville, Morristown, and Lenoir City. We also offer our services to numerous clients in Georgia and other southeastern states. Visit our website to learn more, or get in touch with us by clicking here.

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