The classic proverb, “taxes are forever,” is a stark reminder that the annual tax preparation season is an unavoidable reality. Filing taxes can be complex and tiresome for professional accountants—especially with each new year’s paperwork requirements. However, you can make it easier by arming yourself with the right resources and knowledge. To help ensure your taxes go smoothly this season, here’s a checklist of must-dos:
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Streamline and modernize your bookkeeping system.
Establish a simple online system that allows your clients to upload pertinent documents such as invoices, receipts, and other information throughout the year. It will save you both time from organizing an abundance of paperwork and peace of mind knowing that deadlines are easily attainable with accurate filing methods.
Implement a monthly client check-in routine.
Keep clients updated regarding their economic changes to ensure tax compliance. It will also provide a seamless communication process between you and your clients so they can submit accurate reports or documents at the year-end. It is also highly recommended to request statements and receipts once a month rather than waiting until the end of the year.
Clearly outline expectations and communication goals with your clients.
Speak regularly with your clients about their expectations for the year’s taxes. Explicitly communicate deadlines and obligations for which both parties are responsible throughout the tax season. Ensuring your clients understand the value of filing accurate documents promptly is essential, as it could save them from making costly mistakes.
Additionally, if you have questions or concerns regarding your clients’ information, ensure those questions get a timely response. Doing so will make the entire filing process easier and more efficient.
Embrace Modern Technology
You are a remarkable person, and it is essential to remember that time management should be one of your top priorities. By harnessing the power of modern technologies such as document filing software or cloud-based systems, you will find yourself in control of an organized workflow while gaining better insight into documents over the long term.
Use accrual basis accounting for the year and cash basis at tax time.
Using this year-round tracking of expenses and income, you’ll quickly find any potential deductions or credits that could apply to your taxes. Additionally, you can locate all receipts and invoices when the time comes to file your taxes. With this process at your disposal, preparing for tax season has always been challenging.
Stay Ahead of the Curve with Tax Code Changes
Tax laws change yearly, and staying up-to-date with the new requirements is essential. Researching the latest changes to tax codes and how they may affect your clients’ returns will keep you from making costly mistakes or having to scramble at the last minute. Additionally, knowing how these modifications may impact deductions or credits can help you guide your clients toward maximizing their tax returns.
Maintaining exceptional communication and being up-to-date with recent tax policy adjustments will help guarantee a successful tax season. Planning and preparing in advance is essential to achieving success during this taxing time of year.