Local financial expert with important tax tips

Appointments filling up ahead of April 15 deadline

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — April 15th will be here before you know it, and if you’re planning on getting some professional help to file your taxes, local experts say those slots are filling up fast.

“I would just say don’t wait until the last minute, because they’re going to be very busy. There are plenty of CPAs that when they get people’s paperwork, even within the last four weeks of tax season they end up on extension, just because they don’t have time to get to it all,” said Christina Gatteri, a certified financial planner at Innovative Planning Partners in Warwick.

If you have an appointment, Gatteri says make sure you’re prepared.

“Be organized. Have all your paperwork together, and the other thing I encourage people to do is ask questions of their tax preparer,” said Gatteri.

There’s nothing wrong with filing online yourself, and if your tax situation is simple, e-filing can be easy enough. But Gatteri points out having an expert do it can often pay for itself, especially given President Trump’s revisions to the federal tax code.

“The landscape changes constantly, especially with taxes as we’ve seen in the last few years,” said Gatteri. “Things like credits and deductions sometimes change, and if you don’t know to look for it, you might not get the advantage of it.”

A tax professional is also helpful if you get chosen for an IRS audit.

“They’ll have a sense of what that auditor is going to be looking for and can hopefully help you make some sense of it before you walk in the door,” said Gatteri.

If you decide to e-file, a warning about some of those popular tax prep websites: even if a service is advertised as “free,” you could get charged for things like filing a return in two different states or having more than one W-2, so be sure to always read the fine print.

© WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

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