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TAX TIPS

I try to take the pain out of tax time. Some of my clients look forward to preparing their taxes as soon as possible, to get a quick refund for vacation, etc. The earlier you file the quicker the refund. Attached are a few tips that are always helpful.

 

  • BIGGEST MISTAKE MY CLIENTS MAKE : PREMATURE WITHDRAWALS FROM THEIR RETIREMENT ACCOUNT: PLEASE- CALL ME FIRST. Cost one taxpayer $5,648 to withdraw $10,000 (crazy). 56.5%...Don’t do it! Use a charge card @ 20%...it’s cheaper! (Only possible excuse is buying a first time home)-still discuss with me first.
  • File as early as possible. The earlier you file – the quicker the refund! (Best way to speed up your refund).
  • Interest income – make sure you either have a form 1099 from each bank or call for the amount - I don’t need the form!
  • Tell me about anything you did to try to produce income… of any kind (even off the books)…I can usually come up with more expenses than income – which can be deducted.
  • Tell me about your hobbies and major expenses for 2009…i.e. home purchase, re-finance, improvements (especially if it was to save energy), car purchase(s), investments, vacations, plasma/LCD TV, computers, cell phones, office furniture & equipment, etc.
  • Give me all receipts for charity, assets (see #4), and employee expenses; do you use your car for work? If you don’t have receipts, tell me about it anyway. (Give your used clothing, computers, etc. to ANY church or Salvation Army- get receipt.) (Talk to me before you give away a car)!
  • If you sold stock, I must know when you bought it and much you paid for it!
  • Review my questionnaire, and let me know if anything is pertinent.
  • ALWAYS:Tell me your current bank information for direct deposit (2 nd best way to speed up your refund). Especially if you closed the bank account we used on last years tax return. Confirm if bank info. is the same!
  • Businesses only: take year end inventory, keep detailed mileage log for car use, MTA receipts need detailed log/diary to justify business use (ask).Business meals (ask what info. is required)
  • Try to keep better tax records each year for the biggest refund! & more importantly to keep your refund if audited (very rare)!
  • Homeowners: If you made any improvements to conserve energy…tell me about them!

TIPS: Save your proof of gambling's loses: (Lottery tickets/ horse racing, AC, etc.) Tell me if you have any. Discuss business/investments or career opportunities when you eat out & it could become tax deductible. Intend to discuss business/investments or career opportunities when you go on vacation & it could become tax deductible: Consider and go to a time share: get a business card. Don't Buy! Tell me details! Give away all unwanted clothing / furniture/ books/ shoes / etc. to the Salvation Army or charity of your choice: GET a RECEIPT. Get a receipt for EVERYTHING possible and throw it into a box labeled by year (very important, ask me about this!)