Broker Check
What's your tax prep style?

What's your tax prep style?

February 13, 2024

There are many shapes and sizes of taxpayers, but in my experience, there are two extraordinary types on opposite ends of the tax behavior spectrum.  

The ones who are incredibly eager to get the job done. They collect statements, record expenses, and compile everything into an organized folder and want it done ASAP. Often these clients are anxious and very worried about missing something. As soon as they can get it off their desk and onto the CPA’s the better. Soon after they desperately want the return signed, sealed, and delivered. 

Then there are people who drag their feet. These individuals are relaxed until suddenly there is urgency, and they are frantically going through piles stuffing everything in a folder and shipping it off to the CPA. Then they want it signed, sealed, and delivered right away. 

I have lived in both camps in different phases of my life so I’m not judging anyone. When I have zealously prepared early, I’m worried I have forgotten something. When I have woken up and realized it’s April 10th and am stuffing papers in a folder, I have been worried I’m forgetting something. (That was 25-year-old me. Not me, the now wiser financial planner.) 

In the middle of this eruption of personalities is the tax preparer. They aren’t just worried about getting it all done for everyone as quickly as possible. They are worried about doing it perfectly. They are doing your return and checking it twice, because they know the IRS is checking it twice, too. No one wants a letter from Uncle Sam.  

Over the years, I hope I’ve learned to take the middle road. Starting early, but not rushing it out the door. Giving the tax preparer some breathing space, and being aware that some tax documents, like brokerage statements are issued in mid-February with the occasional correction being mailed out in March.

The one thing we can all do is to keep calm and file-on.