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Most taxpayers consult their, or a, tax professional only during the actual tax filing season – after the tax year has ended – to prepare their tax returns.


But you should contact your, or a, tax professional during the year (before year-end) if any of these events occur -


• Did you get married, divorced, or become widowed?

• Did you have a child?

• Did you change jobs?

• Did your spouse started working?

• Did you have a substantial increase or decrease in income?

• Did you have a substantial gain from the sale of stocks or bonds?

• Did you buy or sell a home or rental real estate?

• Did you start, acquire, or sell a business?

• Did you retire?

• Did you make any unplanned withdrawals from an IRA or pension plan?

• Did you receive an inheritance?

• Did you receive correspondence from the IRS or a state tax agency?


You should actually consult your, or a, tax professional BEFORE many of these events are finalized. 


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


It is also a good idea to contact your, or a, 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.