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When to Contact Your Tax Pro

It's no longer just about April when getting in touch with your accountant.

Editor's Note: This article is part of our 2013 Tax Tips series. Robert Flach is an expert with almost 40 years of experience as a tax professional and also blogs as The Wandering Tax Pro.

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Most taxpayers contact their tax professional only during the tax filing season – after the tax year has ended – to prepare their returns.

But you should contact your tax professional during the year - before year-end - if any of these events occur:

  • you get married, divorced, or become widowed
  • you have a child
  • you change jobs
  • your spouse starts working
  • you have a substantial increase in income
  • you have a substantial gain from the sale of investments
  • you buy or sell a home or rental real estate
  • you start, acquire, or sell a business
  • you retire
  • you make an unplanned withdrawal from an IRA or pension plan
  • you receive an inheritance
  • you receive correspondence from the IRS or a state tax agency
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You should actually contact your tax professional BEFORE many of these events are finalized.

For example, if you are beginning the process of divorce you should contact your tax professional for guidance in negotiating the divorce agreement and the distribution of assets.

It is also a good idea to contact your tax professional in November – before the end of the year – even if none of the above events have occurred to discuss possible year-end tax planning moves.

--Written by Robert D. Flach for MainStreet