With the holidays just around the corner, the year’s end is officially upon us. That means there is no better time to meet with your tax preparer. Conducting a year-end review will allow you to get a jump start on your 2015 taxes, go over any changes in your finances, and give you and your preparer plenty of time to get your tax return in shape. You can even schedule multiple meetings if your return is more complex. Plus, as April approaches, your CPA’s time will be in high demand; the earlier you contact them, the more individual attention they’ll be able to offer you.
Put Time on Your Side
One key advantage to meeting with your tax preparer early is the opportunity to learn ways in which you can take full advantage of tax-reduction opportunities. In some cases, this may take extra time or planning on your part or that of your CPA, so you’ll be happy to have time on your side. For example, if your CPA suggests tax-loss harvesting or another potentially beneficial process, the two of you will have more time to discuss and implement the required transactions without stressing about deadlines.
Prepare for Your Review
Taking a few steps to prepare for your year-end review will allow you to use your time more efficiently and ensure that you don’t forget anything essential. You can start by creating a list of financial and tax-related items you need to discuss, and then dividing your agenda as such:
- Annual review items: Items like family dynamics, personal health, estate planning, risk tolerance, etc. fall into this category
- Contributions: Retirement plans, both employer-based and individual
- Gifting: Charities and actions with respect to family members (e.g. educational savings plans, etc.)
- Tax timing and strategies: Potential opportunities you’d like to discuss including tax-loss harvesting, retirement plan distributions, Roth IRA conversions, business expenditures, etc.
If some of these items are confusing or you’re not sure what to prepare – no worries. After all, that’s why you hired your preparer in the first place. He or she can help talk you through the tax return process and select strategies that will help you and your family save the most. And, since you have an early start, you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions and tweak your plans accordingly.
Make sure to make a list of questions and concerns, as well as any major tax-related issues about which your CPA should be aware. E.g. If you are recently married or divorced, or if you or a spouse or dependent is facing a serious health challenge, be sure to let your tax preparer know as this may affect your return and/or opportunities that are available to you.
Our team provides expert tax preparation services and is here and happy to assist as soon as you’re ready for your year-end review. Take a look at our services page and fill out the form for a free consultation. Or give us a call at 844-841-9857!