INFORMATION TO BRING TO YOUR TAX APPOINTMENT INTERVIEW
Nov 28, 2011
As the tax filing season nears, we always get at least 2 calls every single day from clients who want to know what to bring to their tax appointment. We’ve always mailed the list below to all our clients and now we make it available for you to read at your leisure on our website. Don’t forget that even if you are reading this in Alaska, you can always be our client by simply mailing us your tax information.
We have clients all over the US, so don’t think you have to stick with your current “tax guys” just because you can drive to their offices. If you like them and they do good work—keep using them (we don’t steal clients), but if you’ve been ready for a change and you just didn’t know where to go—call us—you’ll be glad you did.
Below is a list of the most common items that we see coming through our offices each year. Please review it prior to coming in for your tax appointment. If you are an out of town client who mails us your information, please review the list twice to ensure nothing is forgotten. This list does not include 100% of all tax-related documents, so don’t think that because it’s not listed below, you don’t need to bring it. If you are unsure, please call us or bring it in with you.
And now—without further ado—the list:
1. Wage and or Pension, Social Security, or Unemployment Income statements -- your W-2’s or 1099 statements, state tax refund or other income or loss end of year statements, Gambling income and losses (if you’ve won, get loss statements from casinos).
2. Interest, Dividend or Investment Income end of year total earnings statements -- 1099’s or K-1’s from bank or investment firm. If you sold stocks or investments during the year, we need to know when you originally bought the investment and what you originally paid for it, also if you reinvested earnings. We also need to know date of sale, and amount you sold it for. The IRS wrote several of you asking for more money because you forgot to report your investment information. Get those year-end reports.
3. Self-employment income and expenses (please total the expenses by category types, as we charge bookkeeping fees if we need to do this), Business mileage totals or logs. If office in home, we need to know total electric, gas and insurance for year. Also, the square footage of office area and entire living area of house, as well as purchase price of house, major improvement costs, plus any repairs or maintenance for year on house.
4. Rental Income and expenses (total your receipts by types of expenses, mortgage interest, insurance, repairs, utilities, etc.).
5. Alimony paid or received during the year, including the name and social security number of recipient.
6. Purchase or sale of residential house, rental, investment or business property. Please bring the HUD closing statements.
7. Medical expenses (totals by type of expenses paid by you out of pocket: Doctors, Hospitals, Clinics, Eye care, Dental, Medical Insurance, Mileages for medical care).
8. Property and State Income taxes paid. State tax withholdings we can obtain from your W-2’s or estimated payment totals.
9. Charitable Donations, check donations and non-cash donations such as clothes to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. mileage for charitable purposes. You must have receipts for your records (cancelled checks, or donation letters). No more undocumented.
10. Educational expenses for tuition and fees, student loan interest. This now will include expenses for grades K-12.
11. Mortgage Interest (First, Second, Home Equity or Home Improvement Loan interest or points paid) or Investment Interest paid.
12. Work expenses (Union or Professional dues, required work supplies, work tools, and required use of vehicle calling on clients or for other duties of your job for the employer. Note you may give us mileage information totals such as the total business miles used, commuting miles used, and personal miles used or you may give us your actual completed mileage log. Keep the log for at least 3 years. If claiming actual vehicle costs then we need the total spent on gas, repairs, maintenance, insurance, licenses, loan interest. We also need to know whether you are leasing or buying the vehicle and purchase date and price. We will still need mileage information. We also need to know if you received reimbursements from your employer and if it is included in your W-2.
13. Child care expenses paid to day care providers including the provider name, telephone number, address, and tax ID number.
14. Copy of your homeowner’s insurance declaration page for the year.
15. If you are Active Military or Reservist (or spouse/dependent), a copy of fishing & hunting licenses.
16. SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AND PICTURE ID OR DRIVER’S LICENSE.
17. DEPENDENT’S SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AND BIRTH CERTIFICATES.
18. Any other information in regards to income that you earned or expenses that you believe to be deductible. Please ask us about it or show us the information during your tax appointment. It is better to ask now than to get a call from IRS in 1-2 years.
You must save all of your receipts, cancelled checks, credit card statements, and other proof of deductions you claim for a minimum of three years. Vehicle mileage logs should be completed during the year to prove the business mileage and usage of the vehicle for which vehicle expenses are claimed. Tax law permits reconstruction of your mileage log, but it is better to complete the log during the year.
PLEASE MAKE YOUR TAX APPOINTMENT EARLY. IF YOU HAVE SPECIFIC TAX QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE PREPARATION OF YOUR TAX RETURN, SAVE THEM TO DISCUSS DURING YOUR TAX APPOINTMENT.