What You Should be Doing Regarding Rochester Taxes Before the Tax Season Begins

January 31, 2013

Ask any Rochester accountant about their pet peeves when tax season nears and their most common answer is when their clients are disorganized with their records. Such records disorganization range from a few missing entries on the ledgers to receipts stuffed into a shoebox. No matter the level of disorganization, however, clients are missing out on great opportunities on possible savings on Rochester taxes.

Accountants refer to it as leaving money on the table. These professionals feel – and rightly so – that their clients are not getting the best services because non-taxable items, tax credits and other possible tax savings are being missed. Thus, when you plan on hiring the best Rochester accountant for the purpose of getting the best services on tax matters, be sure to cooperate with him. It will be to your best interests because of the substantial savings in Rochester taxes coming your way.

First, pay attention to your mail. Your accountant will be mailing the tax organizer, which outlines all the necessary documents and records that must be gathered. You must assign a special folder for the tax organizer and all related documents so that you can easily present these to your accountant. Take note that you should be receiving the appropriate notices in the mail regarding the Rochester taxes as early as January 5 of the current year. Ignore your mail at your own peril because the nationwide deadline for filing taxes is on April 15 of the current year for taxes applicable in the preceding year. Be alert for any incoming mail because your accountant and other interested parties (i.e., investment and brokerage companies where you have accounts) will send in more reminders and records for special items.

Second, read through the contents of your mail. You must understand its contents including the instructions; if you have any issues, you must immediately contact the sender just so you can follow the instructions to the letter and know their rationale. For example, most investment and brokerage companies send out a succession of documents with each one containing different information than the last. The amendments can have significant impact on your final Rochester taxes bill so it pays to pay close attention. When you have basic information about the requirements for your tax filings, you are more likely to comply with the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.

Third, start gathering the required documents and records. As can be expected, the paperwork can be voluminous – credit card summaries, divorce papers, audited financial statements, and statements from investment houses, not to mention the actual IRS forms – so get started as early as possible. Scrambling at the last minute to beat the deadline is not advisable because of the penalties and surcharges involved. Plus, starting early means that you can identify non-taxable items and allowable expenses, thus, lessening your tax liability.

Fourth, call your accountant as soon as you have gathered the required documents and records. Set an appointment so that you can have his undivided attention and finish your tax papers well before the deadline.

In the end, the ultimate responsibility for paying your taxes on time rests with you, not with any Rochester taxes professional.

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