·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

How to Prepare to File Your Taxes

— May 11, 2023

It can be helpful to have the prior year’s tax returns or other information related to the last filing year available.

Oklahoma City, OK – People need to file taxes every year that they earn money, and some basic preparation can make the process much easier. While not everyone needs an accountant or extensive tax assistance, just about everyone can organize the information they need to file or get assistance from a professional to prepare their taxes. In the event that questions about taxes arise, it can be helpful to get advice from lawyers or other tax professionals who can provide more information. 

The information gathering phase

Crumpled up receipt; image by Michael Walter, via
Crumpled up receipt; image by Michael Walter, via

Anyone who is about to file should have all of the relevant information they will need available. This can include a W-2 from their job and other income forms, invoices or receipts for deductions and expenses, bank account numbers, and information about any other money earned during the course of the tax year. People who are married and filing jointly will need similar information about their spouse and dependents. Income from other sources such as investments or government benefits should be included as well, considering this is a common thing to forget. Oklahoma City tax lawyers or tax accountants can inform the person filing about any specific documents that they will need.

Prior tax information and returns

It can be helpful to have the prior year’s tax returns or other information related to the last filing year available. Sometimes this information is required when filing as a form of verification, and it can also be used as a reference when necessary. If someone like a tax agent or Oklahoma tax lawyers had helped in the prior year, they may have copies available, and there may be a need to review them for certain items. Even those who file on their own will probably need to know their prior year’s adjusted gross income.   

Addressing prior issues with the IRS

Some individuals may already have their tax lawyers looking at prior bankruptcies, audits, outstanding debt to the IRS, or other problems. As a general rule, it is best to get these kinds of matters resolved and settled when necessary to avoid additional fees and penalties. Tax professionals should also advise the person how something like outstanding debt or a bankruptcy can affect their filing for the current year. 

Future issues with investing and estate planning

Tax season can also be a good time to think about investments and transferring wealth. Estate planning lawyers are an important source of information for those who want to set up a trust, draft a will, or get assistance with other forms of financial and inheritance planning. These kinds of plans can also have tax consequences as well, so there is overlap between tax and estate planning. 

Getting additional advice about taxes can help anyone who needs a referral to a licensed lawyer in their area. Those who need assistance getting connected to the right legal professional can call 800-672-3103.

Join the conversation!