Individual Tax Returns and Planning
As an individual, you can complete your tax return on your own, but why? If you think you’re saving money by doing them yourself, you might be surprised. When you engage with expert CPAs, you’ll find that you save time (and don’t forget—your time is valuable) avoiding filling out forms and sorting through what is often a combination of business and personal information. You also save money. As mentioned before, your time has value, so having assistance with your tax return saves you money.
However, the seasoned professionals at HMC are experts at tax planning and projections, and we are always up to date with and have a clear understanding of tax laws and regulations. At the end of the year and at other important junctures, we examine information such as your earnings, investments, sales, and IRA distribution requirements so we can project your taxes and make recommendations. This expertise and constant attention to the details can not only affect how much tax you pay, but also present opportunities to reduce your tax burden. Most importantly, working with experts will help you avoid costly penalties and interest for mistakes—and keep the IRS from knocking at your door.
When you engage with HMC to complete your individual tax return for the first time, we will ask for three years of prior returns to capture any previous carryovers, study your tax history, and correct any previous errors. As a further check, we input the prior year into our system, which allows us to provide you with a personalized organizer to collect your tax data for the current year.
Tips for Making Tax Return Preparation Easier
- When it comes to gathering information, everyone has a different system. We encourage you to use what suits you, and we also provide your personalized organizer to help you capture all your deductions.
- We encourage you to set aside time for planning and asking us questions.
- Keep a file and gather information throughout the year. Whenever anything happens, put the information in the file at that time. When it’s time to file your return, you will be ready.
- When you purchase any real estate, keep the closing documents for as long as you own the property and for at least three years beyond. Deductions may depend on whether the property is or was your primary or secondary residence and if you have or had loans, as well as the type of loans.
- If you change jobs that involves a move of at least 50 miles, was done relative to a full time job, and you worked at least 39 weeks after the move, you could have deductible moving expenses. Be sure to keep track of your transportation and lodging while moving and your household goods moving costs. Also be sure to track job search expenses.
- Remember to keep up with your noncash charitable contributions. These can add up and the charities provide receipts. Many of the charities have good websites for valuation guides.
- If you are filing a schedule C, please keep up with your business mileage.You may want use app on your phone. There are several good ones which make this job easier for you.