What Is Tax Preparation
What is Tax Preparation?
Tax preparation is the process of preparing tax returns, often income tax returns, usually for a person other than the taxpayer, and mostly for compensation. The taxpayer may do tax preparation with or without the help of tax prep software and online services. Tax prep may also be done by a certified professional such as a lawyer, certified public accountant or registered agent, or by an unregistered tax preparation business.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that more than 80 million taxpayers use paid veterans to finalize and submit their tax returns. If you are one of these people, it is necessary to organize your receipts, forms, and other documents well before tax time. Your preparer may take data straight forward from you or ask you to fill a questionnaire. Both way, you will need time to put everything together you and your preparer will need. Here are the steps to take.
Even if you ask someone else to prepare your tax profit, you will need to do some of the processed work yourself—and the earlier you start, the better.
Round up your receipts and check that you’ve gotten all the forms you need from employers and financial businesses.
Last year’s tax return can be a good guide for making sure you are not losing any necessary information.
- Choose a Preparer
If you do not have a tax preparer yet, a good way to find one is to ask friends and advisors for referrals. Make sure that the person you pick has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) showing that they are licensed to prepare federal income tax returns.2
People only ask, what is tax prep? It would help if you also asked about the fees, which is possible to depend on the complexity of your return. Do not use a firm that intends to take a percentage of your refund. The IRS site has tips for selecting a preparer and a link to the IRS directory of preparers, which you can search according to their credentials and location.
- Schedule an Appointment
The earlier you meet with your preparer, the sooner you should be able to finalize your return. If you are looking forward to a refund, you’ll get that sooner, too. If you wait too long to plan an appointment with a tax preparer, it might not happen before April 15, and you could miss out on chances to lessen your tax bill, such as making deductible beneficence to an IRA or a health savings account.
- Put together Your Documents
By the end of January, you should have gotten all the tax documents that you need from your employer or employers, as well as from banks, brokerage firms, and others you have business dealings with. For each form, check that the information tallies your records.
- Round-Up Your Receipts
Which receipts you will need to provide is dependent on whether you itemize your deductions or claim the average deduction. You will want to use whichever produces the greater write-off, but the only way to know for sure is to add your itemized deductions and liken that with your average deduction.
- List Your Personal Information
You probably know your Social Security number so, You’ll want to write those down, along with any other information your tax preparer is likely to need.
- Find a Copy of Last Year’s Return
If you use the same preparer that you used last year, they probably have your previous information. If you use a new preparer like Tax Prep Buddies, last year’s return can serve as a reminder to the preparer of some items you don’t want to ignore. If you need help filing your unfiled tax returns we can assist you through our virtual tax preparation service.