Everyone dreads the April 14th tax date deadline, and if you're one who tends to put it off until the last minute, you know it can be especially stressful. Not only are you more likely to make a mistake, but many tax preparers refuse working with those who they know won't have time to complete their returns. Avoid being bombarded with all your finances by taking the necessary steps to organize and prepare all essential paperwork ahead of time. Take a look at the infographic for the 10 basic steps in tax preparation.
There are a couple papers you'll want to make sure you have collected and on hand for your tax preparer. This includes any 1099s, W-2s and copies of your bank or brokerage statements. These are all vital documents which will detail any stock or bond sales you've transacted, as well as any data that alerts your tax preparer to tax-loss you may have had from the previous year. Along with these, provide your accountant with any IRA contribution proofs. You may be surprised at all the deductibles you are entitled to and may not know about. Provide your accountant with social security information to any new family members or adopted children, as they may also make you eligible for certain tax credits.
There are also a variety of receipts you will want to include when preparing your taxes. Many of which will either provide you with deductions or tax credits such as work related receipts, charitable donations, or purchases of energy efficient goods. Lastly, remember to always review your tax return from last year's taxes with your accountant. Any details can, and most likely will, provide valuable information for the current years' taxes.