You know the scene – you’re working on your tax return and there is paper everywhere. Whether you are preparing your own tax return or working with a tax advisor, it’s imperative to get critical documents organized as quickly and efficiently as possible.
While the papers are out anyway, why not digitize them, upload them to a secure archive, and share them immediately with your tax advisor or accountant? This experience from a FidSafe® user might resonate with you: “I have a big yellow folder – that’s where I stick all the tax-related documents that have been arriving in the mail. This is the first year, however, that I’m not going to just dump it on my accountant to sort through. I’m using my phone to take a picture of the key documents to upload and share with my accountant. I’ll keep the paper versions that I need, and shred the rest.”
If you’re one of the many people who send documents to their tax advisors via U.S. mail or email, it’s important to consider the risks:
- Documents can get lost in the mail, which means sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands
- If documents are lost, sometimes duplicate copies don’t exist or if they do, it can take time to obtain them
- You may be paying your accountant’s office for valuable time spent sorting through all the papers needed to prepare your tax return
A safer and more efficient approach would be to consider using an online, digital vault such as FidSafe® for your tax-related documents. Here are three benefits of using this type of digital archive:
- Share tax information securely and quickly. Andrew Kuleszka, a CPA with KLR in Boston, Massachusetts, believes that using a digital vault is one of the best ways to share tax documents with advisors in a timely way. “The documentation is there quickly and it can be accessed easily by both parties. Oftentimes, we need to reference documents repeatedly throughout the tax planning process. Having online access not only keeps this information secure, but readily accessible,” says Kuleszka.
- Eliminate bottlenecks when key tax documents arrive later than others. Another reality of tax season is that documents don’t arrive on the same schedule. That means that tax advisors hit bottlenecks as they work on client tax returns – particularly when it gets close to the tax deadline. A digital vault can minimize delays. “In many cases, we get 90% to 95% of the information needed to complete a return, and we are waiting on one or two key documents,” notes Kuleszka. “The additional time it takes if you are using U.S. mail has an impact on how quickly we can respond during a busy time. If we can access last-minute data faster, it makes everything run smoother for our clients.”
- Collaborate with advisors throughout the year. Outside tax season, many individuals work with their advisors on estimated taxes, year-end planning, and more. These activities can be completed more rapidly if advisors can access quarterly statements and updates online. With a digital vault like FidSafe®, you remain in control – if you wish to no longer make the key documents available to your tax advisor or anyone else with whom you have shared them, you can easily do so in a few quick keystrokes.
Now is a good time to dig out from under the reams of paper and securely save and share your documents digitally. Using FidSafe® is easy and the advantages are numerous. Next year, tax time can look a lot different!