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Each year, we publish the Clergy Tax Organizer ®. We do this not only to provide you with better and faster service, but also to get you started with sound recordkeeping practices for the following year. The Clergy Tax Organizer is your assurance that you won’t miss any important tax information. Your return will be prepared primarily from this data and is required.

So do you need to fill out every single line of the tax organizer? Of course not. We know there is a lot of information there and we would actually prefer you just include copies of the IRS forms rather than try to fill in the numbers yourself. Instead of trying to fill out every line of the organizer, think of it as the name implies – an ORGANIZER! Once you’ve gathered most of your tax documents, use it to ORGANIZE all these documents.

Unfortunately we don’t know everything that has happened in your lives since last tax filing season. Did you close one of your brokerage accounts and move the money somewhere else? Did you refinance your mortgage during the year and now you have two mortgage interest statements instead of one? Did you have a baby that needs to be added as a dependent? These are all important details that we need to know about to make sure your tax returns are completed accurately.

Here are some basic guidelines for using the organizer:

  1. Answer any questions that apply to you. If you aren’t sure the answer, don’t worry – it’s not a test! Just leave it blank or leave us a note on page 28.
  2. Make sure your address is correct and make any changes
  3. Add any dependents or remove any who are no longer dependents
  4. Enter “T-S-J code” for line items that apply to Taxpayer, Spouse, or Joint.
  5. Submit a 2015 and 2016 church budget / salary package
  6. If you are a new client, please send a copy of your last year’s tax return

Remember the organizer is really for YOU!  If you use it correctly, it will help to keep you from forgetting any information and that will save you time and money. We won’t have to keep asking you for more information if we have everything. We won’t need to ask you for a 1099 for an account that is closed if you make note of that in the organizer. The less time we spend asking questions and organizing your information, the less time we charge for preparing the returns and the less time of yours we take up!

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