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Tax Return Preparation

Tax Return Preparation

Yes, we help people, companies, and trusts prepare and file their tax returns. We have done income tax returns – think 1040, and we have also done gift and estate tax returns. Whether you are a multi-millionaire with a huge business or real estate empire, or your assets are limited to a bank account and a car, the tax laws can either work for you or against you. We want to help you.

Ultimately, we can all stand to handle our finances with more sophistication. This page explains the basics of tax return preparation, when your report your income and expenses to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It also explains how to complete certain sections of the form and provides information about how to get legal assistance with your tax related issues.

Choosing the Right Form

The first issue tax filers will face is the choice of the appropriate form. In most cases, based on what you filed last year, the IRS will mail you Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ with related instructions. Before you fill in the form, look at the form instructions to see if you need, or would benefit from filing a different form this year. The type of form you use depends on a number of factors, including your marital status, how much income you earn, whether you plan to use itemized deductions, and the types of credits you plan to claim. You should also see if you need any additional forms or schedules.

Tax Return Preparation in Six Steps

Once you determine which form to use, the next step is preparing your return. Simple mistakes in tax filings can result in an audit, which make careful preparation particularly important. Follow the steps below to ensure your tax return is prepared correctly and the information provided is accurate.
1. Gather your financial records for income and expenses.
2. Get the forms, schedules, and publications you need.
3. Fill in your return, making sure to follow the steps provided by the IRS.
4. Double-check your return to make sure it’s correct.
5. Sign and date your return.
6. Attach all required forms and schedules.

Additional Tax Resources

There are many questions and issues that can arise in the process of preparing your taxes. If you have additional questions about the tax return preparation process, you should explore the IRS website itself for in-depth information on preparing and filing your return. The regular United States tax system allows for numerous deductions, exemptions, and credits that can reduce the amount of tax that an individual must pay. The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a parallel tax system that was put in place to ensure that taxpayers pay at least a minimum amount of taxes. Taxpayers must pay the higher of either the normal tax amount or the alternative minimum tax. In other words, if a taxpayer uses deductions, exemptions, and credits to lower their normal taxes past a certain amount, the AMT establishes a higher tax that they must pay.

The AMT operates differently than the normal tax system. The AMT system is essentially a flat tax on all income that exceeds a threshold known as an “exemption.” In 2011, for example, the exemption for a single taxpayer was $48,450. Thus, a single taxpayer subject to the AMT in 2011 had to pay a 26% tax on all income between $48,450 and 175,000 and a 28% tax on all income in excess of $175,000. Many of the deductions available in the regular tax system can also lower the amount of income subject to the AMT, but others are not allowed under the AMT system. Taxpayers must calculate the taxes for both systems and then pay the higher of the two amounts.

Tax Return Preparation Lawyer Free Consultation

When you need help preparing and filing your tax return – income, estate, or gift return, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD


Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506