ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s down to crunch time for tax filers, and tax preparers are getting ready for those last-minute procrastinators.
But there are things that can speed the process of preparing a tax return and make a tax appointment go much more smoothly, said Mary Brown, the owner of Speedy Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping.
She said the biggest thing folks need to be aware of and thinking about is health insurance. Brown reminded that everyone is required to have health insurance by next year.
“Open enrollment ends March 31,” said Brown. “I’m not sure what will happen after that. Next year there is a penalty for no insurance.”
She said it is important to have good documentation. Brown added that, sometimes folks aren’t sure if they can claim an item or not, so she encourages them to bring the receipt or document in question with them.
“When in doubt, bring it. It’s better to have too much rather than not enough,” said Brown.
Organization is key to keeping good documentation and having a better tax preparation experience.
“Make sure you are organized,” said Brown.
Brown said if you are self-employed, make sure you keep good, accurate records and bring those to your appointment with your tax preparer.
If you have decided to try a new tax preparer this year, be sure to bring your identification with you such as drivers license and social security cards, said Brown.
“Tell your tax preparer if you have anything unique or unusual about their situation,” said Brown. “If you have a debt, let your tax preparer know.”
She added any documentation of the situation or a large debt, the overall history of the problem, etc, is helpful in determining the best way to proceed in terms of tax preparation.
Sometimes folks will have questions about their tax returns when they receive them from the tax preparer. Brown said don’t be afraid to ask questions of your tax preparer. She added, if you still aren’t satisfied, go to another tax preparer and let them look over the return with you.