Things Too Often Forgotten...
Jan 23, 2014
In trying to "head you off at the pass," here are some of the top items you guys seem so forget--which delays the processing of your return (or worse--makes you miss out on credits!!)
Homeowner's Declaration Page
By far the #1 forgotten item (and worth between $50-$400). We need this to get you your LA Citizen's credit. Easiest way to get it is to call your agent and ask them to fax or email it to you. No copy...no credit.
If you're saying to yourself, "the Citizen's what?!?" don't worry--go to our files section (top right corner of your screen) and click on "Tax Forms-LA". Print yourself the last three years of "540INS" forms and mail them in to LDR.
Kid's Daycare Info
The state gives credits based on the center's "star rating" but only if you provide us with the proper information. Get it from your daycare provider (the higher the rating--the bigger the credit!).
Speaking of daycare, don't forget that before/after care and summer camps may also give you a federal childcare deduction on kids up until they turn 13 years old. Ask the school for your totals.
Kids College Expenses
Most parents sort of know that there's a tax credit available because their kids attend college. However, what they wrongly assume is that the whole cost is used in figuring the credit. We remind you that only those amounts that you actually paid for with your own money (or a student loan) go into the calculation.
If you are lucky enough to have your kids at Harvard with a full scholarship...even though the tuition may cost $60k/year, you don't get any credit (tax credit that is--you do get credit from society for having raised such smart kids). Bring us something from the bursar's office and we'll figure it out together when you come into our office.
Kids' Birth Certificates and Social Security Cards
Yes, you know they're your kids, but IRS doesn't know it---prove it!! No way that we can file the return without having those documents in your file---IRS requires us to have them.
Your Own ID
At least four to five times per season, someone will give me their ID and it's expired. Check your ID's expiration next time you get carded at the restaurant!
Kid's School Expenses
The state gives a deduction on school supplies, uniforms, tuition, and textbooks for all kids enrolled in K-12 grades. Basically any expense that is required o be promoted onto the next grade---no extracurricular, testing or tutoring fees, though. Give us that info--don't cheat yourself!
If you don't know what these are, you're as unlucky as we are!! These are given to you by a casino when you win something. They give it to you the day you win---and the IRS has the same exact copy. Bring them in, plus don't forget to bring in your statement of gambling losses.
W-2's and/or 1099's
Yes. Believe it or not, people "forget" that they worked at "such-and-such-a-place"! But guess who didn't forget? Yep...IRS. And they'll wait 1-2 years to send you a letter asking for the extra tax, penalty, and interest!!
1099-B's Sent by Brokers
You guys with the investments...buying, selling, holding. Certainly you can remember that you sold 2,813 shares of XYZ stock for $13,982 (yaaay!)? How about that it cost you $16,963 (booo!)? If you don't have those figures, don't fret--your broker does--but please make sure you bring us that 1099-B (sometimes it's not your fault--brokers are notorious for not sending those out in a timely fashion--if at all!).
Employer Reimbursement Plans
For unreimbursed employee expenses, one of the stipulations is that the employer not have a reimbursement plan in place. If they do, and you were too shy to ask for your money back--you're out of luck and can't take the deduction. In audits, IRS will ask the employer whether or not they offer reimbursements to you.
Copy of Last Year's Return (Only if New Client)
Some of you guys have items that are "carrying forward" from prior years' returns. We'll never know about them if you don't give us a copy of last year's return. Returning clients don't need this...just for the newbies.
A Happy Positive Attitude
Just kidding! That's one thing every single one of you always remembers to bring!! Thanks for your business.