Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tax Help For Crafters and Etsy Shop Owners - Tips For Working With A Tax Preparer Or CPA

Here are a few tips for working with a CPA or tax preparer. If you don't know how to find a CPA ask around for recommendations. Always ask them for an estimate before they do your taxes and shop around for rates. Most importantly, find a CPA or tax preparer that you like.
  1. Send everything to your tax preparer or CPA during the month of February. This way your return will be completed quickly. Most people wait until March and April. By this time, CPA’s and tax preparers are swamped with work and your return will not get done quickly.
  2. Never e-mail anything containing your social security number to your CPA or tax preparer and do not allow them to e-mail you copies of your tax return. E-mail is not secure.
  3. Send your CPA or tax preparer all of your information at one time. Do not send partial information. Your fees will be higher if they have to change your return several times because you keep sending additional information.
  4. Send your CPA or tax preparer your bank account number and ABA number so that the IRS can send your refund directly to your bank account. Be sure that you provide the correct numbers.
  5. Do not send your CPA or tax preparer a box full of receipts and records. They don’t need it. If they have to look for something they will generally bill you to look through your box. It’s best for you to hold on to your box of information and only send them something if they ask for it.
  6. If your CPA or tax preparer asks for any business receipts or documentation – send them only copies. Never send your CPA or tax preparer any original documentation. They may lose it.
  7. Your CPA or tax preparer is not the IRS. They don’t need to get all of your business receipts and documentation. They don’t have a responsibility to verify most of the information that you send them.
  8. Your CPA or tax preparer is not a mind reader or professional organizer.
    1. Do not send hand-written notes or papers with numbers and scribbles on them.
    2. Do not send documents that you think are tax related but are not
    3. Do not send disorganized information. It’s best if you paperclip together (do not staple) similar documentation.
  9. Respond promptly to CPA or tax preparer when they have questions. The longer you take to reply to them the more time that will pass. If you wait too long, your tax return will go to the bottom of the pile and other returns will be completed before yours is completed.

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