Get Ready! What You Need to File Your Taxes

Tax Return Season is Here

Every taxpayer’s situation is unique, and it is impossible to list all the items one must bring in for a tax appointment for every type of tax situation.  When you are not sure, bring the item in question to your tax appointment. The following is a good general list of the items to bring in with you for your scheduled tax appointment:

Prior Year Tax Return Copies

If you are a new client, please bring copies of your last 3 years federal income tax returns.  We will review them for FREE, and we may be able to amend mistakes/omissions getting you back additional refunds from prior years.

Personal & Dependent Information

  • Social Security or ITIN Numbers with date of births for anyone who’ll be on your tax return
  • Childcare payment records with licensed provider’s ID number(s)
  • Amount of any alimony payments with ex-spouse SSN

Income Statements

  • Bring any & all W-2, Tofes 106, 1098, 1099 & Schedule K-1 forms
  • Purchase date & total investment for any stocks or property sold
  • List of investment related expenses
  • Education scholarships or fellowships

Itemized Deductions

If you are planning on itemizing your deductions (Schedule A) please compose a spreadsheet/list summarizing them.  Itemized deductions include:

  • Mortgage interest, real estate & personal property tax records
  • Casualty & theft losses
  • Amounts of state & local income tax paid in prior years
  • Records of cash donations to religious institutions, schools & other charities
  • Records on non-cash charitable donations
  • Unreimbursed job-related expenses (travel, tools, cell phone charges, uniform cost/cleaning, luggage, services fees, trade journals, meals & entertainment)
  • Job search/moving expenses

Retirement & Education

  • Records of any contributions to IRAs, HSAs & other retirement plans
  • Records of tuition and other higher education expenses (books, computers, etc)

Stocks & Mutual Funds

If you sold stocks or mutual funds, please provide a spreadsheet/list showing:

  • The date(s) you purchased each item(s) sold
  • Total purchase price of each item sold.  Do not assume your cost information is provided on Form 1099.

Self-Employment

Please prepare a simple 1 page income statement which summarizes your:

  • Gross self employment income for the tax year and your applicable expenses categorized and summarized by the type of expense (i.e. advertising, equipment, supplies, etc)

Rental Property

If you received income from rental property (Schedule E), please prepare a simple 1 page income statement showing:

  • Gross rental income you received during the tax year
  • Your applicable expenses categorized and summarized by the type of expense (i.e. advertising, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, repairs, maintenance, condo fees, etc).
  • Rental start date and original cost base for all properties

Business Use of Home

If you used a portion of your home for business use, please provide:

  • Square footage calculation of the area used for business
  • The date you began using the space for business
  • Original purchase price paid for the property
  • Summary of your utility expenses (gas, electric, oil, condo fees, landscaping, snowplowing, maintenance, etc)
  • Major home improvements and direct office expenses (repairs, business phone, etc).

Estimated Tax Payments

If you made any estimated tax payments this tax year, we will need to know the dates and amounts paid of all federal and state estimated tax payments.

Business Rents Paid

Please summarize the rent you paid for business purposes during the tax year and your landlord’s name and address.

Moving Expenses

If your move is employment related, please summarize your moving expenses. You can only deduct the cost to move your household goods, storage and the one time trip to make the final move to your new location.

Finally, please bring any other official tax documents you received not mentioned above. When in doubt, bring it!

If you have any other questions with respect to what to bring to your appointment, please contact Grant Thornton directly.

 

About the Author
Ariel Katz CPA is an expert in United States taxation and accounting for individual, corporate, and non-profit companies, and advises many companies in the area of tax structuring and planning. Mr. Katz is highly involved in academic teaching and professional training. He conducts various activities, including: Senior lecturer in the accounting department in the field of corporate taxation and partnership taxation at the College of Management Academic College. His hobbies include learning Torah, chess, bicycle riding, and running.
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