The times, they are a-changing — but while many millennials elect to receive their receipts, bills, statements and documents electronically, I’m of the non-millennial era and still believe there are enough trees out there to support the printing of my tax documents.
Because I’m hyper-focused on details, I take all my (paper) tax forms and arrange them neatly in my Tax Documents (paper) folder. Even if I’m forced to allow electronic delivery, it’s not a problem; I simply print the (paper) document as soon as it’s available and put it in the aforementioned (paper) folder.
So yes, I like paper. But I’m still all about working smarter, not harder, and about making things easier.
On the day I do my taxes I download the latest copy of TurboTax®, open my folder (and maybe even a bottle of wine because I hate having to enter in all those tax documents), and hope I don’t make a fat-finger mistake in favor of the IRS as I’m entering numbers.
One thing I’ve noticed is that, year over year, my tax-prep time has shortened. How can that be? Well, my awesome TurboTax asks me if I want to download any of my tax forms. Silly question, right?
When I say yes, TurboTax does this cool and fancy web service callout to processors (like Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE), pulls in any applicable tax information and populates my tax forms. That means no squinting, and no typing the information from my paper documents into each tiny box onscreen. Ridiculously simple, and it not only saves me time, it eliminates the risk of fat-fingering the wrong numbers. Go, me!
In all seriousness, though, the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) used for this bit of magic is a newer technology, one that allows tax software companies to pull in the recipient’s tax information and auto-populate their tax preparation forms — which in turn, makes doing your taxes so much easier.
When I joined Thomson Reuters, I was very excited to see that ONESOURCE has those same OFX abilities so at tax time, all of our clients’ customers are able to pull their tax information into TurboTax. If you’re a taxpayer you should want this — and you should want your bank to want this.
If you’re a payer, you should want this for your clients. It’s relatively easy to set up, and will make the tax filing process easier and less prone to error.
I could go into great detail about how OFX works, and about the secure file transfers via web services. But you know what? As a taxpayer, I frankly wouldn’t care. I’d just be glad I could download my tax information.
If you’re a payer and don’t have this setup yet, I would strongly recommend you look into it. Your customers will be so much happier — and we all know that a happy customer is a friend for life. Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE makes the OFX interface easy, and your clients will appreciate you even more.
Yes, I know, I make it all sound so simple. So let me be honest with you.
It really is that simple.