Newsletter – November 15, 2023

2023 Year-end Update

As much as many people do not want to think about taxes at the end of the year, it is important to take some time now and review your finances and your taxes. This is especially true if you have investment or brokerage accounts and other assets or if you have a small business. In this note, I will write about:

  • Mutual funds, dividends, and capital gains,
  • IRA Contributions,
  • IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMD), and
  • Charitable contributions using Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) or appreciated assets.

Please keep in mind that without knowing your specific details, I cannot provide professional advice about your situation. It is up to you to use this information and follow up with your advisors. You should be having conversations about these topics with your financial advisor.

Mutual funds, dividends, and capital gains

I recently had a conversation with a financial advisor who asked about whether my clients understood the taxes they pay on reinvested dividends and capital gains in their mutual funds or managed accounts. Unfortunately, most people do not understand that they pay taxes on distributed dividends and capital gains, even though they may not receive a check for the funds. Each year, I explain to clients that even though they did not receive a check from Fidelity or Schwab or Vanguard or Ameriprise or T. Rowe Price or Edward Jones or something similar, they still had dividend and capital gain distributions, and they are reported on a Form 1099. This is important for two reasons. First, that the reinvested income is taxable. Second, the reinvested income reduces your basis in the investment. This is a conversation for another note.

You can contact your investment advisor for information about your dividend and capital gain distributions. If you do not have an investment advisor, you can contact whichever investment company has your mutual fund accounts.

Reinvested mutual fund and capital gain distributions in retirement accounts are not taxable. They will be taxed at distribution.

IRA Contributions

The amount that you can contribute to a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA changes each year as the IRS adjusts the limits for inflation.

For 2023, the total contributions you make each year to all of your traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs can’t be more than:

  • $6,500 ($7,500 if you’re age 50 or older), or
  • If less, your taxable compensation for the year

IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)

According to the IRS, you must begin withdrawing from your IRAs and Roth IRAs at some point.

You cannot keep retirement funds in your account indefinitely. You generally have to start taking withdrawals from your IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, or retirement plan account when you reach age 72 (73 if you reach age 72 after Dec. 31, 2022).

Roth IRAs do not require withdrawals until after the death of the owner; however, beneficiaries of a Roth IRA are subject to the RMD rules. Designated Roth accounts in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan are subject to the RMD rules for 2022 and 2023. However, for 2024 and later years, RMDs are no longer required from designated Roth accounts. 2023 RMDs due by April 1, 2024, are still required. 

Your required minimum distribution is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your account each year.

  • You can withdraw more than the minimum required amount.
  • Your withdrawals will be included in your taxable income except for any part that was taxed before (your basis) or that can be received tax-free (such as qualified distributions from designated Roth accounts).

For detailed information see: Retirement Topics — Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) | Internal Revenue Service (

Charitable contributions using Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) or appreciated assets.

With the increases in the standard deduction, many people are looking for tax advantaged ways to make charitable contributions. The two most common are using Qualified Charitable Contributions or making donations of appreciated assets. The concepts are simple, but as with many things, the details are not. Be sure to talk to your advisor.

A QCD is a type of retirement plan distribution in which the funds are sent directly to a charitable organization by the plan administrator. The account holder does not receive the proceeds from the distribution. Neither the distribution, nor the contribution is reported on the tax return. You can find details in the notice from the IRS. Reminder to IRA owners age 70½ or over: Qualified charitable distributions are great options for making tax-free gifts to charity | Internal Revenue Service ( The notice is for 2022, however, the concept remains the same.

Another tax saving approach to charitable contributions is to donate appreciated assets like stocks or real estate. Generally, you can avoid paying tax on capital gains. However, you can deduct the full fair-market value of the contribution. If you use this approach, be sure to talk to your advisors first.

Attention New Clients!

Welcome to Charles R Zeugner CPA. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. My objective is to provide prompt and accurate service and to make sure that you as a client understand your tax filings. I send a tax organizer to clients in late December or early January, and I am prepared to begin accepting documents by the third week of January. The IRS typically begins accepting e-filed returns near the end of January.

I use a secure electronic portal. If you do not already have the link and a password, please let me know. You can use the portal to send documents, and I will send electronic copies of your return through the portal.

I provide all clients with an engagement letter and an organizer. The engagement letter sets out the terms of our agreement, and the organizer is a tool that can be used to help gather tax information. Please click the link below to open a copy of the engagement letter and organizer that you can download.

Engagement Letter/Tax Organizer

December Newsletter

This is the newsletter for December. In this issue, I’ll go over a few changes affecting credits for dependents, the IRS’ paycheck checkup, and how to choose a tax preparer. If there are topics that you would like me to address, please contact me and let me know.

Do you have children or other dependents? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) increased the child tax credit and created a new credit for other dependents. The TCJA also increased the income levels for the credits so more taxpayers will qualify. The Child Tax Credit doubled to $2,000. To qualify, a taxpayer must claim the child as a dependent, the child must be younger than 17 at the end of the tax year, the child must live with the taxpayer more than six months of the year, and the child must have a valid Social Security number. Up to $,1400 of the credit is refundable, so eligible taxpayers may receive a refund even if they do not owe any tax. The new Credit for Other Dependents is available for taxpayers that cannot claim the Child Tax Credit. This could include dependent children older than, parents, or other qualifying relatives. If you think you may qualify, you should talk to your tax professional.

Avoid surprises in April! The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to do a paycheck checkup. Changes in the tax code from the TCJA may affect the amount of tax you owe. If you are an employee, you should check out the withholding calculator on the IRS website. Depending on what you learn, you may want to adjust your withholding by filing a new Form W-4.

How to choose someone to prepare your taxes. If you have a complex tax situation of if you simply prefer the piece of mind that comes from hiring a professional to do your tax returns, please know that there is not a lot of regulation of tax preparers. You want to be careful when you make your choice. The IRS published a list of tips for choosing a tax preparer. Here’s the list:

  1. Check the Preparer’s Qualifications.
  2. Check the Preparer’s History
  3. Ask about Service Fees.
  4. Ask to E-File.
  5. Make Sure the Preparer is Available.
  6. Provide Records and Receipts.
  7. Never Sign a Blank Return.
  8. Review Before Signing.
  9. Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes Their PTIN.
  10. Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS.

You can read the details directly on the IRS website. The short version of the article is to check the preparer’s qualifications and make sure the preparer will be there after the tax season, ask questions, provide documentation, e-file and don’t sign blank returns. If you do come across a tax preparer that acts unprofessionally or unethically, report him or her to the IRS.

November Newsletter

In this issue of the newsletter, I will write about a few tax-related ideas. I usually plan to send this newsletter out monthly or less. However, there are a lot of things that are useful to know before the tax filing deadlines next year, so I will be sending this out more frequently through March.

It is not too early to start thinking about what you might need to do to file your 2018 tax returns in just a few months.

Get organized! I will be sending my clients an income tax organizer in December. The organizer I send out contains information from last year’s return, and it is a helpful guide for collecting information that will be needed for this year. Some of my clients find completing the organizer to be helpful, and they answer all the questions and fill in all the applicable boxes with the current amounts. Other clients simply use the organizer as a checklist. Whatever works best for you is what you should do. If you are not one of my clients and you would like an organizer, ask your tax professional or contact me.

Can you prepare your own tax returns? Of course, you can prepare your own tax returns! If your tax situation is simple with only wages or a pension and few deductions, then you should be able to complete your return easily. One of the objectives of the tax reform passed last year was to simplify tax preparation for most taxpayers. However, taxpayers with more complex situations may have more complex tax returns. Keep in mind, however, that your return may not always be simple. Someday you may buy or sell a home, start withdrawing from IRAs, sell investments, or even turn a hobby into a side business. When that happens, it will be helpful for you to have a long-term relationship with your tax professional. Reputable professionals should charge according to a return’s complexity and the time required to do the work, so if you have a simple return, the cost of hiring a professional should be far less than the value of the piece of mind you would be purchasing. If you do prepare your own returns, you can download the federal forms from You can also find free software on the IRS website. Keep in mind that the IRS forms and free software do not include your state tax return. If you choose to hire a professional, you will want to read the newsletter next month when I will write about how to select a tax preparer.

What can you deduct? The standard deduction has increased greatly in 2018. Some estimates are that 94 percent of taxpayers may be able to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing.

IRAs and required minimum distributions. If you have an IRA, and you are turning 70 ½, you may be facing required minimum distributions (RMDs). The theory is that you could invest and defer taxes until retirement. Once you are retired, it is time to start withdrawing your investment and paying the taxes. That applies even if you don’t need or want the money and even if you are not retired. The amount of the RMD is based on your life expectancy. Your financial advisor or tax professional can help you determine the amount. Alternatively, you can find RMD tables on the IRS website, Don’t ignore RMDs if you are supposed to take them. The penalties are significant.

IRAs and Charitable Contributions. One option that you have if you have RMDs is to make a Qualified Charitable Contribution (QCD). With a QCD, a taxpayer makes a charitable contribution from an IRA instead of making a withdrawal. This year the new higher standard deduction may prevent some taxpayers from deducting charitable contributions. What typically would happen is a taxpayer would withdraw from an IRA, and then make the deduction for charitable contributions. The advantage to the QCD is that the money is not counted as income. Talk to your tax professional about QCDs and other strategies.

Should you contribute to an IRA? Circumstances vary. However, many people believe that it is worthwhile to contribute to an IRA to reduce current taxable income. If you think this might be a good idea for you, talk to your financial advisor and tax professional.

Common Tax Myths – Travel, Meals and Entertainment

There are many things that are “common knowledge” about income taxes. Unfortunately, some of them are simply wrong. This short series of blog posts will address some of them. This post examines some myths about travel, meals and entertainment deductions.

Go on and spend the money, it is deductible.

This common refrain covers a lot of territory. It typically only affects business owners, although taxpayers with large amounts of unreimbursed employee business expenses also succumb to this. (Recent changes to tax laws have affected the rules regarding unreimbursed business expenses.) Not all expenses are deductible. You can refer to Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses for specifics.  There is a table listing types of expenses that are deductible if they are incurred for a bona fide business purpose near the end of this post. Keep in mind that even when expenses are deductible, they are still expenses.

Talk about business so your lunch or dinner can be a business expense.

This is an example of an expense that is not deductible. Simply talking about business does not make something a business meeting. While meals and entertainment can be deductible, there must be a bona fide business reason.

In plain terms, expenses for business should be ordinary and necessary. The IRS defines these terms in Publication 535 Business Expenses.

To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.

Even a casual reading of this definition makes it clear that meeting a client or prospective client for dinner may be a deductible expense. So too might be a lunch meeting with a coworker or employee if the purpose is directly related to business. However, it is not appropriate to deduct the expense for routine meals. You may be able to expense regular meals for employees in some circumstances. Deductibility may also depend on the nature of your business. You should consult with your tax advisor for the details.

Two common myths have to do with the cost of meals.

  1. Go on and go to the fancy place, its deductible.
  2. Don’t try to deduct very expensive meals.

As usual, the truth is something else. Pub 463 addresses the topic of lavish or extravagant meals.

You can’t deduct expenses for meals that are lavish or extravagant. An expense isn’t considered lavish or extravagant if it is reasonable based on the facts and circumstances. Expenses won’t be disallowed merely because they are more than a fixed dollar amount or take place at deluxe restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, or resorts.

In other words, cost by itself will not affect whether you can deduct an expense. Remember the definition of ordinary and necessary described earlier. Keep in mind that even though the expense may be deductible, meal and entertainment expenses are limited to 50 percent of the actual expense or standard meal allowance amount.

If you go on a business trip, you can stay a few extra days and write off the expense. If you take along a companion, that is deductible also.

Bad idea.  IRS Publication 535 Business Expenses explains,

Generally, you cannot deduct personal, living, or family expenses. However, if you have an expense for something that is used partly for business and partly for personal purposes, divide the total cost between the business and personal parts. You can deduct the business part.

Using this as a guide, you would be able to deduct the business portion of your trip. However, expenses for extra days or for companions are personal expenses and are not deductible as business expenses.

Another variation on this theme is:

If your small business has annual meetings, hold them in places that are also resort or vacation destinations, so you can write off the trip.

This may be  partly true depending on the circumstances, but like many myths, it starts with truth and then distorts into falsehood. The expenses associated with your businesses meetings are deductible if they have a business purpose. Once you go beyond the bona fide business purpose, then the expenses are no longer deductible. Be very careful about trying to deduct that wintertime company meeting at a beach resort. The details about what are likely to be acceptable may depend on the nature of your business. You should consult with your tax professional.

The table below lists the types of travel expenses that you can deduct. Remember to keep receipts and documentation.

Travel Expenses You Can Deduct

IF you have expenses for... THEN you can deduct the cost of...
transportationtravel by airplane, train, bus, or car between your home and your business destination. If you were provided with a free ticket or you are riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero. If you travel by ship, see Luxury Water Travel and Cruise Ships , under Conventions, earlier, for additional rules and limits.
taxi, commuter bus, and airport limousinefares for these and other types of transportation that take you between:
The airport or station and your hotel; and
The hotel and the work location of your customers or clients, your business meeting place, or your temporary work location.
baggage and shippingsending baggage and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations.
caroperating and maintaining your car when traveling away from home on business. You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking. If you rent a car while away from home on business, you can deduct only the business-use portion of the expenses.
lodging and mealsyour lodging and meals if your business trip is overnight or long enough that you need to stop for sleep or rest to properly perform your duties. Meals include amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips. See Meals , later, for additional rules and limits.
cleaningdry cleaning and laundry.
telephonebusiness calls while on your business trip. This includes business communication by fax machine or other communication devices.
tipstips you pay for any expenses in this chart.
otherother similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. These expenses might include transportation to or from a business meal, public stenographer's fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer.
Excerpted from Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses

Don’t become a victim of tax myths. “Everybody does it” is not a good defense if your deductions are questioned. If you have travel or meals and entertainment expenses for your business, be sure to deduct them. However, make sure that they are for a legitimate business purpose and that you can substantiate them.

Common Tax Myths – Requesting an Extension

There are many things that are “common knowledge” about income taxes. Unfortunately, some of them are simply wrong. This short series of blog posts will address some of them. This post will examine a couple of myths relating to filing requests for extensions.

Request an extension. An extension will give you more time to pay your taxes.

Not only is this untrue, it will cost you. Form 4868 – Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return is used to request an extension of time to file not an extension of the payment due date. In fact, the instructions for the form caution:

Although you aren’t required to make a payment of the tax you estimate as due, Form 4868 doesn’t extend the time to pay taxes. If you don’t pay the amount due by the regular due date, you’ll owe interest. You may also be charged penalties.

Another part of this myth is the belief that requesting an extension also means that it is not necessary to do anything with your taxes by the normal due date. However, to qualify for an extension, you must attempt to estimate your tax liability. The instructions for the form say:

  1. Properly estimate your 2017 tax liability using the information available to you.
  2. Enter your total tax liability on line 4 of Form 4868, and
  3. File Form 4868 by the regular due date of your return

Never request an extension. Doing so will increase your chances of being audited.

This one is also untrue. The specific criteria that the IRS uses to select returns for audit is a secret. However, there is no reason to believe that requesting an extension of time to file your return will increase the likelihood that you will be audited. In fact, if you think about the reasons that people frequently request extensions, it may be possible that filing an extension request could reduce your chance of being audited. If this sounds confusing, consider that the reason that many people find themselves answering questions from the IRS include errors and missing information. Many taxpayers simply cannot meet the filing deadline because they do not have all their tax documentation. Filing without waiting for documents such as W-2s, 1099s, K-1s, or other documents is a good way to make mistakes. If you have a business, you may also need extra time to prepare your books.

If asking for extra time helps you prepare a complete and accurate return, then you should ask for extra time. On the other hand, if you can complete your return on time, you should make every effort to do so. If you are due a refund, all you are doing is postponing the return of your money, and if you have tax due, it is better to know the exact amount and arrange to pay even if you do not have the cash on hand.

How do you request an extension?

The IRS makes it easy. There are three ways to request an extension of time to file your individual income taxes.

  1. Use the IRS payment system available through the IRS website. The IRS will process and extension when you pay your estimated tax electronically.
  2. E-file using tax software or ask your tax professional to e-file an extension for you. You can e-file for free using the IRS website.
  3. File a paper Form 4868.

Are you wondering about your Federal tax refund?

Did you know that you can track the status of your tax refund? The IRS website has a place that you can check your refund status. You can also download an app called IRS2Go for your mobile device.

The refund status, page on, Where’s My Refund?  will require taxpayers to enter a:

  • Social security number or ITIN
  • Filing status
  • The exact amount of the refund

The IRS updates the page daily, and the information is available 24 hours after the return is e-filed or four weeks after mailing.

Should you call the IRS? The IRS says:

The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, although some require additional time. You should only call if it has been:

  • 21 days or more since you e-filed
  • 6 weeks or more since you mailed your return, or when
  • “Where’s My Refund” tells you to contact the IRS

If you claim an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ATC), your refund may be delayed. Legislation passed by Congress precludes the IRS from those refunds until mid-February.

Common Forms for Tax Returns

With the season for filing taxes underway, taxpayers are busy going through their mail looking for the documents they need to prepare their taxes. One way of figuring out the documents that you need is to review your returns from last year. If your returns were prepared by a CPA or other professional last year, then your preparer should have sent you an organizer or checklist.

Here is a list of some of the documents that you may need to prepare your tax return.

FormWhat It Reports
1095Form 1095 contains information related to the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance) There are several varieties of this form depending on who is reporting.
1098This form reports mortgage interest. It may also include property tax if that is paid through an escrow account.
1098-EDo you have a student loan? This form will report interest.
1098-TYou will need this form if you paid tuition of received reimbursements, scholarships, or grants.
1099-BThis form reports securities transactions.
1099-CYou will receive this form if you had debt that was forgiven. Forgiven debt is considered income.
1099-DIVDividends, capital gains, and some other distributions
1099-GGovernment payments are reported on this form. This includes unemployment compensation and state or local tax refunds.
1099-INTInterest income
1099-KCredit card payments. You will receive these if you accept credit cards for payments.
1099-LTCPayments under a long-term care insurance contract
1099-MISCRents, Royalties, prizes, awards, non-employee compensation, attorney’s fees, and substitute payments
1099-RRetirement plan and pension distributions including IRAs
1099-SThis form reports information about real estate sales
1099-SADistributions from an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA
5498This family of forms reports fair market values or contributions for IRAs (including SEP, SIMPLE, and Roth IRAs), Coverdell and ABLE accounts, and HSAs, Archer MSAs, or Medicare Advantage MSAs
SSA-1099Social Security Payments
W-2Wages. This includes sick pay and benefits.
W-2GDid you hit it big at the casino or race track? W-2Gs report gambling winnings


Save Money on Tax Preparation

Paying a lot for tax preparation? Paying a CPA, Enrolled Agent, attorney or other professional to prepare tax returns does not have to be expensive. Hiring an expert may be a good idea, and most of the fees are money well spent. However, some habits could be costing you a lot of money, and they could lead to errors. What are these habits?

  • Disorganization
  • Inadequate Records or sloppy bookkeeping
  • Unresponsiveness

This is how those habits cost you and what you can do about them.


At tax time many people simply gather up any documents they think might somehow be related to their income tax, stuff them in folders or large envelopes, and send them to their CPA. The tax preparer will review and make copies of everything. Many of the documents will turn out to be unnecessary. Even so, once their CPAs start going through the files, they find that many important items are not included. The CPA will then have to contact the client and ask for the missing documents. This adds to the expense of preparing the return because the accountant spends additional time and expense on the unnecessary items and the spends extra time tracking down the missing itemsAsk your CPA or tax professional for an organizer or checklist.

Inadequate Records or Sloppy bookkeeping

The IRS requires taxpayers to document income and expenses. Without documentation, the IRS will disallow many deductions or credits. If you worked and received a salary or wage, then your income and any withholding will be documented by your employer with a W-2. If you were a contractor, then you will receive a Form 1099-MISC if you were paid more than $599 during the year.

Income from banks or brokerage accounts will be documented with various 1099s for interest, dividends, or capital gains.

On the expense side, individuals may be able to deduct charitable contributions, interest, some, medical expenses, and many other things. Depending on the expense, you will have received some sort of document explaining the expense.

If you own a business, you will also have to document your income and expenses. Many businesses hire bookkeepers to keep track of their income and expenses. If you go this route, about all you should need to provide your CPA or tax professional is a copy of your financial statements. Your accountant may also ask you for copies of bank records. If you take credit cards or receive 1099s, your tax professional will also ask to see copies of those.

If your business finances are simple, you may be able keep your records on a spreadsheet. If you use this approach, group your expenses by logical categories so that your tax preparer will be able to know how to put them on the tax form.


Many clients do not respond when their accountant tries to contact them. The reason the accountant is calling is either to find missing information or to clarify something that is not clear. Unresponsiveness increases the cost of preparing your return because it is difficult to work with missing information and it takes longer to prepare the return. In addition, every one of those phone calls and emails take time.

Change your habits!

Now that you know about these habits that cost you money, you can start changing your behavior.

Get organized!

Talk to your CPA or the professional that prepares your filing. He or she can tell you exactly what you need to do in order to simplify your tax filing and to make it less expensive to prepare your return. Take advantage of the checklists and organizers your accountant provides. Spend a little time reviewing your documents before you take them to your accountant.

Keep records throughout the year, and organize them so that they will be ready for your accountant. If you drive an automobile for work, get one of those auto record books and keep it. Your CPA may be able to provide you with an expense log. Keep your business and personal records separate.

Get help with your records.

It is worth your time to talk to your CPA or to a bookkeeper to learn how to set up your records. If you have a small business, seriously consider purchasing bookkeeping software. If you do, it is worth your while to ask your accountant or bookkeeper to help you set up your books. If you don’t want to organize your own records, or if they are too complex, then hire a bookkeeper. The cost of paying a bookkeeper to do your books throughout the year will be less than the cost of asking your accountant to do it a month before your taxes are due.

Return your calls! Respond to email!

When the CPA calls or emails, assume it is important and respond! If you do not return your calls or answer your email, then one contact becomes two or three or more. Your CPA will be able to complete your return faster and for less cost if you respond when he or she tries to contact you.


The IRS’ Ten Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

It is cliché that the only thing certain in life is death and taxes. The other thing that death and taxes have in common is that both can be a bit frightening for some people. With taxes, at least, you can find help. There are many people that can assist you. If you know what you are doing, and you are comfortable doing your own taxes, you can even get free help from the IRS.

However, many people do not have simple tax situations, and they prefer the peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional. If that describes you, please know that there is not a lot of regulation of tax preparers. You want to be careful when you make your choice. The IRS published a list of tips for choosing a tax preparer. The article is from last year, but the advice is still good.

Here’s the list:

  1. Check the Preparer’s Qualifications.
  2. Check the Preparer’s History
  3. Ask about Service Fees.
  4. Ask to E-File. 
  5. Make Sure the Preparer is Available.
  6. Provide Records and Receipts.
  7. Never Sign a Blank Return.
  8. Review Before Signing.
  9. Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes Their PTIN.
  10. Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS.

You can read the details directly on the IRS website. The short version of the article is to check the preparer’s qualifications and make sure the prepare will be there after tax season, ask questions, provide documentation, efile and don’t sign blank returns. If you do come across a tax preparer that acts unprofessionally or unethically, report him or her to the IRS.

The first day to file your 2017 returns will be January 29, 2018 this year. You should wait to visit your tax professional until you have organized all of your documents. However, it is probably a good idea to go on and make an appointment now so that you will be at the front of the line. Good tax professionals are busy this time of year.