Taxes are complicated, and it’s hard to know where to start. Filing your taxes can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many rules and regulations, and if you make a mistake, it could cost you time and money. Tax preparation doesn’t have to be complicated. With the help of a professional tax preparer, you can rest assured that your taxes will be filed correctly and on time. Here are six frequently asked questions about tax preparation to help you get started!

Is it worth paying for tax preparation?

Tax time can be a daunting and confusing process, especially if you’re doing it alone. The IRS is cracking down on individual tax returns, and the penalties for making a mistake are severe, so why go at it alone? If you don’t want to risk fines, it is definitely worth paying for tax preparation services.

In Vancouver, WA, income tax preparation begins 12 to 15 months prior to filing your tax return. This is when consulting with your Allied Accounting & Tax Service Inc. accountant will let you know the tax consequences, or tax benefits, of your personal or business strategies. An ongoing relationship with your tax accountant will prevent mishaps and is the best way to reduce your tax liability through careful tax planning.

What do you include when filing taxes?

Filing taxes can be confusing, especially if you’re unsure what to include. Here are some pieces of information/documents you should have ready when filing your taxes:

Personal Information:

When filing your taxes, you will be asked to fill out some personal information such as:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • If married, you will need your spouse’s full name, social security number or tax ID, and date of birth
  • Routing and account numbers to receive your refund(s)

Dependent(s) Information:

*Note: If parents are divorced, the custodial parent (primary) claims the child(ren) as dependents. Both parents cannot claim the same child(ren) as dependents.

  • Birth dates, Social Security Numbers (SSN)/tax ID numbers
  • Any child care records, if applicable
  • Income of dependents and other adults in the household (if applicable)

Sources of Income:

Before you file your taxes, you will need to have your tax form(s) in hand. These include:

If you are an employee or unemployed, you will need:

  • W-2 forms if you’re employed
  • 1099-G if you’re unemployed

If you’re self-employed, you will need:

  • Schedules K-1, Forms 1099, and any income records to verify amounts not reported on 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC
  • Records of all your expenses
  • Records of all your estimated tax payments that you have made

If you have rental income, you will need:

  • Records of income and expenses from the property
  • Any rental asset information
  • Records of estimated tax payments that you have made so far

If you are receiving retirement income, you will need:

  • Pension and IRA annuity income (1099-R)
  • Any amounts that you contributed to the IRA that were already taxed

You will also be asked to provide details and forms that relate to any savings, investment or dividends payouts you have received, such as:

  • Interest or dividend income
  • Any income you made from sales of stocks etc.
  • Expenses related to any expenses

… and much more.

Where can I ask tax questions for free?

Many tax preparation businesses will be willing to answer simple tax questions free of charge! Individuals who are looking for free tax help can also call or visit the IRS website.

Can anyone prepare taxes?Tax Preparer Vancouver WA

As of now, there are no strict educational requirements when it comes to being a tax preparer. Typically, individuals should hold a high-school diploma or equivalent. Some employers will provide on-the-job training, while others will require you to have some sort of post-secondary training. If you are considering becoming a tax preparer, some colleges or universities offer certificate courses that can help qualify you as an entry-level tax preparer! With that said, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires registration for all paid tax preparers. Tax preparation professionals must obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and include it on all returns they sign. Preparers who don’t sign tax returns and are supervised by a certified public accountant, attorney, or enrolled agent are exempt from this regulation. An unrolled tax return preparer is not required to have any continuing education. There are also education requirements for Enrolled Agents, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Actuaries, and a very few others.

How much does it cost to have someone prepare your taxes?

The cost for tax preparation depends on your tax situation and its overall complexity. Call your local tax preparation specialist for a more precise quote!

What does a tax preparer do?

A tax preparer is an individual who basically prepares, calculates, and files tax returns on behalf of businesses and individuals. They are familiar with how taxes work and deal with the stress of taxes for you!

Call Allied Accounting!

Tax season is a stressful time for many people. The pressure to get everything done on time and the fear of making a mistake can be overwhelming. Filing your taxes doesn’t have to be a headache. In fact, it can be downright easy with the help of a professional tax preparer. At Allied, we’ve been performing tax preparation in Vancouver, WA, for over two decades, and we’ll ensure your taxes are complete, timely, and error-free. Call us today to see how we can help you!