Posted on Dec 2nd 2023
Working with a professional accountant to prepare your taxes is a great way to maximize your return and alleviate the stress of tax season. To help make the most of your time during your appointment, come prepared with everything your tax expert needs to do their job efficiently and thoroughly. Here’s a checklist to help you get ready.
Personal documentation includes a photo ID, Social Security Cards, Social Security Number verification letters, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Assignment letters for yourself and any other person on your return — including your spouse and all dependants. In addition to identifying documents, you will need to verify the birthdates of every individual on your return.
If you want your return deposited directly into your bank account, bring a voided check or the routing and account number. Your bank should be able to provide you with a voided check if you prefer, or you should be able to find your bank’s routing number on their website. If you used direct deposit in previous years, your tax returns would also have this information.
It’s essential to have a record of income sources for everyone on your tax return for 2023. This includes forms that reflect employment income (W-2, 1099-NEC, 1099-K), Retirement or Disability Benefits (SSA-1099 or 1099-R), and Unemployment Income (1099-G). You will also want to bring a record of the previous year’s tax refund, a 1098-T form for any student scholarship/fellowship income, a record of rental property income, alimony, lottery or gambling winnings, or any other sources of income. Each of these forms should be prepared by January 31, so if you are unsure where to find one of these records, contact your employer.
Information about your expenses can allow you to claim specific tax deductions and give you a larger refund. Expenses include retirement contributions, (LINK to Retirement Planning cluster topic) mortgage statements, college tuition, childcare expenses, medical and dental bills, charitable donations, and supplies purchased if you are an educator.
Other expenses you need to bring include records of paid state and local income taxes, paid real estate taxes or paid personal property taxes. If you are unsure what qualifies or what documentation will suffice for each expense, you can contact your accountant for assistance.
If you took advantage of health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, received any Economic Stimulus Payments (stimulus checks), child tax credits, energy credits, or any other form in the mail labeled as “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT” on the envelope, bring that with you as well.
After you have gathered what you can, your tax professional will assist you the rest of the way. After all, one of the primary benefits of hiring an accountant to assist you with your taxes is so you don’t have to be the expert! You can trust that the certified professionals of Paramount will help you maximize your refund and minimize your stress this tax season.