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| Education and Financial

01/13/15

Taxing behavior: Are you prepared for April 15 and tax season?

The start of the new year typically brings with it a slew of resolutions and thoughts of making this year better than the previous one.
Maybe you want to exercise or lose weight, eat healthier or work on your fitness.
Perhaps your New Year's Resolution includes being nicer to people and, in turn, trying to find a better job or one with better benefits or pay.
For some, the turn of the calendar into a new year begins their countdown to something much different than squeezing into their skinny jeans or cashing a paycheck every two weeks that is much healthier than the one they did last year.
No, the new year means that in just a few months it will be tax season, April 15 to be exact. Even before that deadline becomes a reality, those who focus on income tax begin to peruse their receipts and wait patiently for all their tax related information to be compiled or arrive. They look forward to tax time; they've been waiting for the new year and have remained organized with compiling all their information or gathering everything they'll need to make life easier for the person who is doing their taxes this year.

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That preparation and organization, however, often is few and far between as the majority of tax payers tend to lean too heavily on their preparer and fail to show up for their appointment or consult with little or no direction.
A lot of that isn't so much the fault of the taxpayer as it is this belief or illusion that it is perfectly acceptable to be disorganized and to just dump your receipts or paperwork in the lap of the accountant lucky enough to wade through everything.
As much as your account reeks of professionalism, so should you. That means that box of receipts you have needs to be sorted and itemized before you arrive at your accountant's doorstep. They're not a miracle worker, nor would you want to pay them their hourly rate to dig through the debauchery that is your year end receipts.
In the same vein as your accountant not being able to pull off the impossible as it relates to your taxes, you also want to be honest, open and have full disclosure with your tax preparer. That means if you think something is going to be an issue or is overly complicated, speak up and let them know right away. Thinking that they'll find it eventually is bad business; so is assuming that Uncle Sam isn't going to catch your mistake, either so you'll simply not mention it to anyone.
Few tax payers revel in this time of year, although some would argue that they've been waiting for that sizeable refund since last April 15. For the larger contingent of people who aren't in a big rush to fill out, prepare or file a return, you still owe it your accountant to treat the process as if you weren't the customer but rather on the other side of the tax table.

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