Individual Tax Season Preparation


As much as you may not be excited about it, tax season comes once a year and is about to come again.  But don’t let that fact spoil any holiday cheer!  There are a few things individuals can do to prepare for tax season to mitigate some of that dreaded mid-April fear.

First, make sure you have a great tax preparer.  A good tax preparer will give you what you need when the season is strong – reminders, engagement letters, and yes, even beautifully prepared tax returns.  A great tax preparer, however, will do all that plus the little extras throughout the year that make your time with them worthwhile.  Great tax preparers will discuss with you any need for projections at year end and will always be available during the year for questions or concerns you have regarding your particular tax situation.  (Hint: MOST tax preparers are great preparers, but if you are using one that is not, get a second opinion!)

Next, keep a single file or box in a special place to compile any tax-related items for your preparer.  You may say “Oh, I’ll just do that when I start to get a slew of ‘TAX DOCUMENT ENCLOSED’ envelopes in the mail!”, but let’s be honest, you will probably forget by that time.  Prepare the file now so you have everything in one place when you are scrambling with other things like making dinner, picking up the kids, running to an appointment, about to miss kickoff, etc.

Finally, communicate!  Keep in touch with your tax preparer during the year regarding any significant events that come your way (examples may include a wedding, a divorce, a new child, a major surgery, a move, a large purchase, or a major loss).  If your event affects your taxes, your preparer will likely have advice for you on what documents to hold on to or obtain during this time so you can make the best decisions when it comes to year-end tax planning and projections.

Tax season doesn’t have to be all it’s cracked up to be.  Just these few steps to preparation can save you a lot of headache!  If you are still looking for that great preparer, call us to schedule a consultation while we still have openings.  Happy pre-tax season to you!

Warm regards,

Crystal Daliya, CPA


What do CPA’s do “out of season”?

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Most people are aware that CPA’s have “season” during mid-January to April 15th each year (or, the 18th, as it was this year). But what most people don’t know is what we do “out of season”.

To clarify, season can be all year long for most CPA’s, though it does tend to slow down after mid-April until about August. There are several IRS deadlines scattered throughout the year which cause our workflow to stay pretty steady depending on the mix of clientele and services offered.

Here’s what a typical CPA’s year may look like:

  • January through April: prepare income tax returns, Quarter 1 payroll tax returns, county tangible tax returns, and Quarter 1 sales tax returns
  • May through July: catch up on business client’s bookkeeping or write-up work; work on client’s extensions for income tax returns; prepare Quarter 2 payroll and sales tax returns
  • August through October: finalize any client’s extensions and file with reporting agencies; prepare Quarter 3 payroll and sales tax returns
  • November and December: work with clients on tax planning for year-end reporting; prepare Quarter 4 payroll and sales tax returns

It’s rare that your CPA truly gets time to take a vacation, and if you think you’re faced with deadlines, look no further than the nearest CPA firm to feel a little better about your situation.  Thankfully, a good CPA knows this cycle and usually works with a balanced attitude of timeliness and healthy caution to ensure your needs are met while not skimping on the details where necessary.

Understanding what your CPA’s schedule may look like can help you better address the best time of year to contact them for non-deadline matters.  It also may tell you the better times of year to stop by with some extra coffee!  Now is a good time to call us to see how we can help you get your finances in order before we get even further into the year!

Warm regards,

Crystal Daliya, CPA