As we move closer to Tax Day 2013 on April 15th, many Human Resources departments may expect an increase of questions from employees. For some, those questions might be in regards to the new line item on their W-2 forms regarding total cost of health care coverage.
But to help HR Directors and Managers reduce the time they need to spend repeatedly answering more common questions, here are a few practical tips that you may want to share with employees now.
- Maintain current address information: Employees should keep current and former employers and financial institutions aware of their current address. They should also think of anyone else that they may have done business with in the past year.
- Keep documents organized: Employees should make a list (ahead of time, if possible!) of the documents that should be coming in the mail — Forms W-2 and 1098, receipts, etc. When each form arrives, they should check it off the list and put it in a file specifically designated for tax information.
- Utilize online resources: While this may be a dwindling number, you may still have employees that are doing their taxes by hand. Encourage those employees to visit the IRS website to determine which form they need to file.
- Recall major events: If an employee is hiring an accountant to prepare their taxes, encourage them to clearly explain their tax situation early on. This would include sharing items such as whether they are joint filing, if they’ve recently changed jobs, bought or sold a house, or made a significant charitable donation. This will the employee time to verify what documents they should be providing prior to the first meeting with the accountant.
I hope that you — and your employees — find these tips helpful as you seek to make this tax season a pleasant one!