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5 Income Tax Preparation Tips

27th March 2009
By James Trippon in Taxes
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Its income tax time again! It's when Uncle Same wants to know how much money you earned and how much income tax you owe him. We all want to pay less income tax each year. Instead of looking for tax loopholes and grey area deductions, at J.M. Trippon & Company CPA's we specialize on tax planning to not only save you money on this year's taxes, but also focus on the years ahead to reduce tax liability for the future. Here are five basic tips that we have used to save our clients millions of dollars over the last 25 years in processing over 10,000 income tax returns.

Travel Expenses
The key to deducting the most from mileage on your income tax return is keeping complete and accurate logs of your travel expenses. Travel expenses can include airfare/transportation expenses, conference/trade show/seminar attendance fees, hotels/rent-a-car expenses, and parking fees. Consulting with an Income Tax Preparation Expert about your vehicle deductions is a wise choice. There are additional deductions available that only a qualified tax accountant would know.

One travel expense that most people do not know about is the travel expenses for those who have two different employers. You may deduct the traveling expense from the first job to the second job. However, if you have a single employer, you cannot deduct the travel cost to and from you home and place of business.

Medical Expenses
Keep all of your medical expense receipts and statements which are not covered by your medical insurance. You will need a copy of all out-of-pocket medical expenses in order to qualify for the deduction. The amount of deduction is highly dependent on your income. You will need to discuss this with your Trippon CPA Tax Account. There are certain medical/dental insurance premiums that are deductible which your income tax specialist can determine.

Entertainment Expenses
This is an IRS red flag and needs to be carefully reviewed by your Trippon CPA Income Tax Preparation Specialist. In March 2002, new legislation was passed that prohibited entertainment expense deductions for personal use. Usual and customer business related meals and entertainment can be deducted up to 50% of the receipt. You will want to review all entertainment expenses with J.M. Trippon & Company CPA's to make sure you reduce any potential tax liability.

Tax Records
Keeping accurate and complete income tax preparation records will make your life so much easier. Keeping accurate tax records will reduce your cost in income tax preparation, and make you prepared in the event of an IRS audit or IRS tax dispute. Be aware that you are legally required to keep your tax records for three years following the filing date. 5.

The deadline for federal income tax preparation is April 15th. You much have your federal income tax return postmarked by April 15th. By filing your federal income tax return prior to the deadline, you will avoid penalties and interests from the IRS.
You may file for a filing extension. If you are in need of additional time for income tax preparation, you can file for an extension. There are regulations on who can file for an extension, so you will want to consult with your Trippon CPA Income Tax Preparation Specialist to make sure filing an extension is right your income tax situation.
Income Tax preparation makes everyone anxious. At Trippon CPA's, we have learned that the earlier you start, the better we have a chance to do our research and save you the most on your income tax return.
To begin the income tax preparation process, fill out our Tax Assessment Questionnaire, or call us at 713-661-1040 to schedule a free tax evaluation.
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