Personal Finance, Taxes 

Tax Myth – My Accountant Takes Care of My Taxes

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Ben, at Money Smart Life, writes about building wealth but not at the expense of enjoying life. His site focuses on finding a balance between becoming wealthy and having a fulfilling life, not always an easy task. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in reading more about then subscribe to his feed.

Many people think about taxes on three different occasions during the year:

  • Every payday when they curse the money coming out of their check
  • April 9th when they drop off a jumbled mess of receipts and 1099’s for their accountant
  • April 12th when they pay their taxes OR the day their tax refund hits their bank account

Take Care of Your Taxes
Your accountant knows the tax laws and how to fill out your tax forms. You are the one that has to sign the forms and pay the taxes. You should be the one that “takes care” of your taxes the whole year round.

Saying “my accountant takes care of my taxes” is pretty much the same as saying “my mechanic takes care of my car”. A mechanic fixes your car when it breaks down and gives you advice on how to maintain it. However, if you don’t perform the maintenance you’re the one that pays the price.

Help Your Accountant, Help You
Below are three ways you can help your accountant help you take care of your taxes:

Plan Ahead
Do some tax planning with your accountant to determine ways to minimize your taxes for the coming year. For those of you without an accountant check out Lower Your Taxes – Big Time by tax expert Sandy Botkin and do your own tax planning.

Be Consistent and Organized
Record your tax information as events happen. Don’t wait until the night before you deliver your documents to your accountant, or doing your taxes yourself, to document and assemble a whole years worth of information. Keeping your records organized will save you and your accountant time, which may translate into cost savings for you.

Monitor Changes
Be aware of any changes during the year that may effect your tax situation. Examples are changes in your employment, additions to your family, medical conditions, or tax law updates. If any of these occur you may need to revise your tax plan for maximum tax savings.

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One Response to “Tax Myth – My Accountant Takes Care of My Taxes”

  1. Matt says:

    All fine advice. Having an accountant can be a good thing for getting advice, but the primary responsibility is on all of us. They can only tell you your options, they can’t be the one choosing to live a tax-optimized life. 🙂

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