(In the Black) Friday is coming! To all my procrastinator clients out there, who have been waiting to get their year-to-date information together, this Friday is not a shopping day for you!
This Black Friday, when other people are jockeying for a parking space in the mall, it is a great time to sit down and organize your year-to-date income tax and business information.
So, instead of waiting until we are deep into tax season, we can have a conversation about your income tax projection NOW. There is plenty of time BEFORE the new year comes to plan for this year.
Please don’t wait until March! And you know who you are!
Try to take this Friday to get organized. I know it can be a daunting task, but it’s very important that you start to get organized for the tax year which is coming to an end in about a month.
Happy Thanksgiving to everybody, and I hope that many of you take my advice and spend some time Friday while you are still “stuffed” with Turkey, to get your finances in order and set yourself up then for a quick and easy tax season with me.
Once you have everything organized, call me to make an appointment so we can review it together.
We still have time for before the new year to implement tax strategies for this year.
Tax Preparation Checklist
I prepared this checklist to assist you in gathering your end-of-year income tax information. Please read each item carefully, as they may now apply to you even though they did not in the past. When you feel all of your information is complete, call me to schedule an appointment to bring those to my office.
The IRS needs to know exactly who’s filing and who is covered in your tax return. To do this, you will need Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, and your dependents.
Information about your income:
- Income from jobs: forms W-2 for you and your spouse
- Investment income – various forms 1099 (-INT, -DIV, -B, etc.), K-1s, stock option information
- Income from state and local income tax refunds and/or unemployment: forms 1099-G
- Alimony received
- Business or farming income – profit/loss statement, capital equipment information
- If you use your home for business – home size, office size, home expenses, office expenses. Ask me to send worksheets that will help you organize the details of your home office expenses.
- IRA/pension distributions – forms 1099-R, 8606
- Rental property income/expense – profit/Loss statement, rental property suspended loss information
- Social Security benefits – forms SSA-1099
- Income from sales of property – original cost and cost of improvements, escrow closing statement, cancelled debt information (form 1099-C)
- Prior year installment sale information – forms 6252, principal and Interest collected during the year, SSN and address of payer
- Other miscellaneous income – jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account (MSA), scholarships, etc.
Adjustments to your income:
The following can help reduce the amount of your income that is taxed, which can increase your tax refund or lower the amount you owe.
- IRA contributions
- Energy credits
- Student loan interest
- Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
- Moving expenses
- Self-employed health insurance payments
- Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE and other self-employed pension plans
- Alimony paid
- Educator expenses
Itemized tax deductions and credits:
The government offers a number of deductions and credits to help lower the tax burden on individuals, which means more money in your pocket. You’ll need the following documentation to make sure you get all the deductions and credits you deserve.
- Advance Child Tax Credit payment
- Child care costs – provider’s name, address, tax id, and amount paid
- Education costs – forms 1098-T, education expenses
- Adoption costs – SSN of child, legal, medical, and transportation costs
- Home mortgage interest and points you paid – Forms 1098
- Investment interest expense
- Charitable donations – cash amounts and value of donated property, miles driven, and out-of-pocket expenses
- Casualty and theft losses – amount of damage, insurance reimbursements
- Other miscellaneous tax deductions – union dues, unreimbursed employee expenses (uniforms, supplies, seminars, continuing education, publications, travel, etc.)
- Medical and dental expenses
Taxes you’ve paid:
Properly documenting the taxes you’ve already paid can keep you from overpaying.
- State and local income taxes paid
- Real estate taxes paid
- Personal property taxes – vehicle license fee based on value
- Estimated tax payment made during the year, prior year refund applied to current year, and any amount paid with an extension to file.
- Direct deposit information – routing and account numbers
- Foreign bank account information – location, name of bank, account number, peak value of account during the year
Please reach out to me without hesitation with any tax, business or
accounting question, and to schedule a consultation.
Tax Laws are complex.
It is very easy to make mistakes that can incur penalties.
Do you have a Tax, Accounting or Business Question?
Call Me Immediately. (732) 673-0510.
Is your CPA or Attorney
ignoring your Phone Calls and Emails?
Call Me Immediately. (732) 673-0510.
“If We Aren’t Working For You, Then You Aren’t Working At Your Best”
Chris Whalen, CPA
79 Oak Hill Road
Red Bank, NJ 07701