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Easy Tax Preparation Tips

It may seem like paradise here in Hawaii, but we still have to face the reality of taxes each year, and April 15 will be here soon!

Make it easier on yourself by getting started on your tax prep now and getting yourself a little organized. It will take less time with your tax accountant, and might end up saving you money.

  • Gather your W-2 forms and, if you have investments or interest-bearing bank accounts, pay a mortgage, or have done consultant work, your 1099 statements. If you were on unemployment or receive social security, you will receive a 1099. Do check them over—mistakes can happen! Bring your last paycheck stub of 2011, too.
  • If you have bank accounts, gather together those statements, and any investment account statements.
  • Have your social security cards for each member of your family, including any new family additions.
  • Bring your photo ID (driver’s license, etc.).
  • Be sure to bring your 2010 tax returns, even if you are using the same tax preparer.
  • If you had any major family changes, bring documents relating to those (divorce, adoption, death, marriage). If you declared bankruptcy, bring your debt discharge statement.
  • Do you have any work-related expenses? Hopefully you saved those receipts—bring them with you. Did you buy a uniform for a job, use your home computer for work, or buy tools for work? Did you have to travel for work, to a customer or to a meeting? List those (and the distance you traveled).
  • If you have a home office or workspace, calculate the square feet and the percentage it is of your total house. Collect your utility bills, too—your office would have used some of those utilities. And don’t forget receipts for office supplies.
  • You’ll need your automobile registration amount.
  • Medical: The amount of medical bills you must exceed to make a tax deduction is fairly large; however it’s worth gathering together receipts for what you have spent and asking your tax preparer. Don’t forget prescriptions, chiropractic treatments, dental treatments, and insurance co-pays.
  • If you purchase your own health insurance, discuss with your tax preparer whether it’s deductible.
  • Do you pay child care, tuition, have a student loan, or receive financial aid for education? Bring all those documents to your tax preparer.

A little organization upfront makes the entire tax process more bearable, and you want to take all the deductions you are eligible for!

And don’t forget, PayDayHawaii offers tax preparation services. We’re an authorized E-file agent with over eight years of experience. Because we’re open year around, our fees are always less than the tax preparation specialists, and we can make sure you get your tax refund fast.

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