If you’re among the millions of Americans who still haven’t filed their taxes, you should start by making sure you have your documents in order. Not only will this ensure your tax appointment goes smoothly, it will ensure you get the deductions that you’re entitled to. For this blog post we wanted to highlight the things you’ll need to gather before you meet with your accountant.
If you’re meeting with a new accountant or CPA, you’ll want to bring a copy of last year’s state and federal tax returns. Although these items aren’t required, it can help your tax professional understand what you filed last year. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you have the social security numbers for yourself, spouse, and your dependents, including your children and elderly parents.
If you’re an hourly or salaried employee, your employer should have issued you a W-2 form. (Fact, employers must issue W-2 forms no later than Jan. 31.) If you haven’t received your W-2, contact your employer.
Were you issued a 1099 form? If so, you’ll want to gather them. There are several different types of 1099 forms. For example, 1099-misc forms are issued to independent contractors, whereas individuals who invoice clients through PayPal, or who sell items on Amazon, may receive a 1099-K. If you have investment earnings, you should have received a 1099-INT, and if you’ve received dividends for a broker-handled transaction, you should have received a 1099-B.
Information about deductions and credits
If you’re planning on taking deductions, you’ll want to get your documents in order. Examples include proof of retirement account contributions, educational expenses (for tuition, fees and student loan interest), medical bills, property taxes and mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local tax payments. If you’re a teacher, gather documents related to money spent on classroom supplies.
Are you planning on taking the American opportunity and lifetime learning credit, the child tax credit, or the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit)? If you want to claim them, you’ll need documentation.
Information about payments
Lastly, if you sent the IRS estimated tax payments throughout the year, you’ll want to gather these documents, too.
For more information on the types of documents you’ll want to gather in advance of your tax appointment, we can help. Call Hughes, Snell & Co, PA to get started.