Pennsylvania

Berks County CPA provides advice for filing a 2021 tax return

Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington, DC (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

The tax season has arrivedAnd if you want to minimize the hassle, the best bet is to start preparing immediately.

No, there’s not much you can do to get more refunds from the IRS at this time, but you can at least relieve stress if you don’t intend to apply until the April 18 deadline is approaching. Now do some very simple steps.

Ruthann Woll, Certified Accountant and Tax Partner of RKLLLC in Spring Township.

“Don’t be late,” says Ruthann Woll, Certified Accountant and Tax Partner. RKL LLC, Spring Township-based accounting and management consulting firm. “Even if it’s just getting started.

“But the sooner you submit, the sooner the refund process will start and it will make you feel better to do it at the end.”

You can avoid the problem later by having all the forms you need to submit in 2021 and as basic as making sure they are together.

And if you really want to make your life easier, you can even start building accommodations that make filing easier in 2023.

Woll provided the following tips for businesses and individuals who want to file taxes accurately and maximize refunds, but are nervous or perhaps uncertain about the best way to approach the process.

tax
The file photo on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 shows a portion of the 1040 Federal Tax Form printed from the Internal Revenue Service website. (AP Photo / Keith Srakocic, file)

Pay attention to online forms

One of the major changes in tax filing, especially since the pandemic, is to make forms available online to many employers and businesses, rather than mailing physical documents.

Failure to pay attention to these situations can cause many anxieties. Or it can be completely overlooked.

“Many documents are no longer mailed to people, so it’s really important to know what you had last year and what shape you should expect,” Wol said.

“Some people aren’t aware of it. They just assume they don’t have it when they need to go online and get those documents.”

Know the extension rules

If you have too long to wait by April 18th and you don’t have everything, you can always choose to apply for an extension.

However, please note that the extension is for paperwork only. Even if you are actually borrowing money, the IRS expects the check to arrive in April.

“In the worst case, we can extend it until October,” Woll said. “But even if you have a tax obligation, you will have a tax obligation in April.

“This is just an extension of the file. If you are obliged to pay taxes and don’t pay them, they will charge interest and fines.”

Ahead of the game

You can ignore itemized deductions such as business expenses and charitable donations, but waiting until just before submitting the file to aggregate everything will only add to the madness.

“Going back, looking at all the bank statements and doing all that work is now a hassle,” Woll said. “That’s what people don’t want to deal with is having to go back a year and recreate their lives.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to go back and do it for the 2020 tax return, but today there is no reason why we can’t start documenting them next year.

“Being able to do that proactively is big and important. Use an app to track your mileage if you’re traveling for work or if you incur other out-of-pocket costs. Some people write it down using a logbook.

“It’s about finding some kind of mechanism that works for you and getting into the habit of doing it.”

Part 2 ahead of the game

Tracking all expenses can be a hassle or only relevant to certain types of filers, but everyone needs to buy a stock, get a new job, get married, buy real estate, etc. There are some events that have.

If these moments occur, be sure to consider how they affect your filing.

“To ensure that if any trigger event occurs during the year, it will affect it and what will happen during the tax period when a check must be written. Don’t forget to make some plans, “Wol said.

This is not the time to be stubborn

Woll agrees that filing without expert help is certainly a viable route for people with relatively simple tax returns and situations, especially when using computer software. Did.

However, if something doesn’t look right, or if you find yourself overwhelmed, you may want to seek help from an accountant.

“We help people understand it, understand it, and make sure you’re doing the right thing,” she said. “Often people think,” Oh, what I have is really simple, it’s not a big deal, I can do it. ” Then they go into a kind of weed and it seems like “I don’t know what I’m doing”.

“The important thing is to acknowledge and ask for help when you need it.”

And companies like RKL in particular can take a lot of pressure off the business where much more is happening than the average Joe.

“We support the planning phase,” says Woll. “We are actively working with our clients to help them understand their tax situation each year. There is also an organizational system for them, a way to collect documents for them. We support them with business solutions on how to organize and get going throughout the year.

“Whenever we need to, we’re proactively working, rather than waiting until April 18th.”

The photo in this file shows the form printed from the Internal Revenue Service web page. (AP Photo / Keith Srakocic file)

Berks County CPA provides advice for filing a 2021 tax return

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