With the new year approaching here’s a quick list to refresh your memory on the documents you’ll need to give to your tax preparer.

  • W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, K-1s, 5498s, etc.
    • While you may not be sure of the relevance, if it comes on a standard form like W-2, 1099, 1098, K-1, etc., it makes sense to give it to your tax preparer.  Let them sort it out instead of you.  I’ve had clients receive notices from the IRS  resulting from income not reported on a tax return.  This error was directly related to the documents they DID NOT provide to me.  This could have been easily avoided.  When in doubt, toss these documents in your stack to give to your tax preparer.
    • Make sure to include ALL pages of 1099s, especially those lengthy consolidated 1099s received from your financial adviser.  Many times deductible investment advisory fees are shown on the 20th page of a 22 page document.
  • Business income and deductions
    • Have a business operated as a sole proprietorship?  You will need to calculate your income and categorize your expenses for the year.  Make sure you have proper documentation to substantiate your business expenses
  • Charitable donation receipts.
    • This is a sticky issue with the IRS and should be taken seriously.  Make sure those charities you give to frequently provide a receipt detailing the annual donations given.  Also, make sure the receipt includes some sort of language specifying that nothing was received in exchange for the donation.  This applies to gifts of cash (or check, credit card charge) to charities where nothing was received by the donor in exchange for the donation.  The best example of these are church donations.
    • If you purchased an item at a charity function, gala, fundraiser, etc. your donation will be limited to the excess you paid for the item.  For example:  A $500 purchase of a painting worth $200 would only yield a $300 donation.  Make sure the charity can provide a value of the item for purposes of properly limiting your deduction to only the excess.
  • Records of taxes paid.
    • This would only include real estate taxes paid in 2015.
    • Federal and state estimated (quarterly) tax payments
  • Full names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for any new dependents.
    • Birth of a new child
    • Family member(s) you’re now supporting (think elderly parent living in your home without much income)
  • Homeowners insurance “declarations page.”
    • Louisiana allows a credit for 72% of the amount of the LA Citizens (or LA Fair Plan) assessment included in your homeowners insurance premium.  Make sure this premium is for the policy period beginning in 2015.
  • Completed tax organizer.
    • Our policy at PRM is to send every existing client a tax organizer.  Our organizer includes a list of pertinent questions to answer and provides prior year data as a reminder.  Flipping through this document, and answering the questions, should refresh your memory about tax documents you need to gather.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list.  Many of the documents referenced above will be mentioned in your tax organizer.  This is simply a way to get you thinking and preparing for tax season.

 

Feel free to call/email with any questions.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Holidays!