Hopefully your bookkeeper or accountant has already talked to you about the items you’re going to need for your next tax return. Your bookkeeper or accountant may have asked you to be prepared to collect your W-2’s, W-9’s, receipts, 2017 mileage log, etc., etc.; all of the things you will need to turn into the government in order to file your taxes next year. It’s just about doing the math and making sure you’re in good shape.
Make sure you are prepared for the next tax filing season and that you don’t get short changed by your accountant. Here are some ways to get the most of out of your accountant:
- BE ORGANIZED – A good bookkeeper or accountant bills by the month or project, not by the hour, but that doesn’t mean you should hand them a paper bag full or receipts. Accountants and bookkeepers need to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. The better organized you are, the faster your accountant or bookkeeper can get through your books. Consider creating a spreadsheet that divides your business expenses into categories such as: Overhead, Travel and Entertainment.
- BE ACCURATE – The IRS allows you to do things like deduct mileage, but be prepared to give an accurate number for mileage, gas use, etc. If you’ve never kept track of these things in the past, start keeping a log and be as accurate as possible. There are a number of apps out there, like TaxMileage by AppstoSimplify, that will help you keep track of your expenses on your smartphone, then easily transfer the information over to your computer.
- ASK QUESTIONS – If you don’t understand something on your previous tax return or in your books, don’t be afraid to ask why. It’s never too late yet to ask your accountant for advice on how to minimize your taxes. If you’re still in doubt, get a second opinion. We’re available to help you!
- PLAN AHEAD – Now that your taxes are complete, schedule a meeting with your accountant or bookkeeper to learn about how to maximize the deductions you take in the future. You may find your tax professional suggests spending in order to save, such as donating to more charities or upgrading your computer, which could result in a higher deduction next year.
By nature, we accountants and bookkeepers are penny pinchers and like to get the most for our money. So don’t be afraid to get the most out of your accountant; if your accountant is like me, he or she would be proud