One of the biggest challenges tax professionals and accountants face is assisting our clients in gathering all the information and documents they’ll need to be able to calculate their tax bills.
This time of year, of course, is when 90% of those tax documents are sent out and EVERY year, the phone here in the office rings nearly off the hook with clients wondering who to call and where to turn to find either a new copy of a lost document or to track down a document that was never sent.
There’s two ways to do that and this year, I wanted to make it easier for you, so print this email or mark it in your Inbox so you can find it easily when something doesn’t show up.
The easiest thing to do, of course, is to simply reach out to the client or company that should have issued you that particular document and ask for a new copy. In 99% of all cases, that will get you what you need faster and, in today’s age, you might simply be able to print it out from a website.
Now, on the other hand, you can simply reach out to the IRS and ask – after all, they have access to the same information, right? All of that information you need has also been submitted to the IRS from the company in question, so in a pinch, you can simply ask them!
Basically, you have two ways to do this:
- On the IRS website, you can search for and click on the “Get Transcript Online” tab and specify the documents you need. Obviously, since you are dealing with personal information, these forms are held behind several security measures, so you’ll have to create an account and prove who you are. It’s important to note that using this system will have staff members in the IRS searching for this information, so the sooner you ask, the better your chances of getting the necessary documents before the filing date. Ask too late and you’ll likely have to file an extension. (It’s worth noting that this is one of the ways that CPAs “magically” make things happen…”
- Use the post office! You can download, then fill out and mail or fax Form -T. Most taxpayers are looking for W-2s or 1099s, so my experience tells me you’ll need to check box 8 to have them send you the same basic transcript we discussed above. Since this is going to be mailed to you, you need to plan on at least two weeks before you’ll see any documents.
If you live near an IRS taxpayer assistance center, you might get lucky and simply be able to go there and have an agent print out the transcript for you, but be aware, this will still likely take longer than you’d like. The advantage, of course, is you’ll have what you need that day.
So, with all that said, let’s talk about your homework from last week.
Have you been tracking where your time goes?
Have you had some sudden realizations that a lot of your time is misdirected when you get sucked into Facebook or YouTube? Not to worry, a lot of people have it happen. How you react to that and what you choose to do about it is what I’m after here.
…So how will you react to it?
Not to worry, you don’t have to answer that now. This week, just keep focusing and paying attention to what is distracting you from achieving your goals and the resolutions you made for yourself and 2020.
Have a great week and we’ll chat soon!