Northfield NJ CPA – Tax, Accounting & Consulting Services (609) 641-4000  | 

It’s January: Time to Prepare for Tax Season

by Clayton Himstedt, CPA

Now that the holidays are behind us, we can start focusing on everyone’s favorite time of year, tax time. Throughout the month of January, your 2015 tax documents will begin arriving in your mailbox. The best time to provide your tax information to your tax preparer is early February even if you don’t have every last tax document. By early February you should have collected the bulk of your tax documents and the additional time to prepare and file your tax return will benefit you and your tax preparer.   The following is a list of the typical documents you may receive and should bring to your tax preparer:

Income Related Documents

  • Form W-2 (wage income)
  • Form W-2G (gambling winnings)
  • Form 1099-B (sales of stock, bonds, or other investments)
  • Form 1099-C (cancelation of debt)
  • Form 1099-DIV (dividends)
  • Form 1099-G (state tax refunds and unemployment compensation)
  • Form 1099-INT (interest income)
  • Form 1099-MISC (self-employment, rent and other various types of income)
  • Form 1099-R (distributions from IRAs, 401(k) plans, and other types of retirement savings plans)
  • Form SSA-1099 (Social Security benefits)
  • Schedule K-1 (income from partnerships, S corporations, estates, or trusts)

Expense Related Documents

  • Form 1098 (mortgage interest)
  • Form 1098-C (charitable contribution of vehicles)
  • Form 1098-E (student loan interest)
  • Form 1098-T (tuition for higher education)

The above list is not all inclusive. You should supply all tax related documents to your tax preparer.

The following section is dedicated to the income and expenses that you must track as an individual:

  • Schedule C (sole proprietor) business income and expenses (summarized by expense and amount)
  • Rental income and expenses (summarized by property, expense, and amount)
  • Child care expenses (summarized by child, provider and amount)
  • Gambling losses
  • Medical expenses (insurance premiums, co-pays, prescriptions, dental, vision, etc.)
  • Moving expenses (related to starting a new job or work location over 50 miles away from your old home)
  • Real estate tax bills if not escrowed and reported on Form 1098
  • Realized gain/loss report for any stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other capital investments sold during the year if not included on Form 1099-B
  • Receipts or acknowledgement letters for charitable gifts

Most taxpayers are going to receive a new tax form for 2015 related to the Affordable Care Act. This new tax document is Form 1095-A, B or C. For some taxpayers, this document will be critical for the accurate preparation of the taxpayer’s tax return. We recommend that every taxpayer supply this document to their tax preparer.

While a copy of your prior year tax return and the above information are good starting points to prepare an accurate tax return, nothing beats a conversation with your tax preparer. Every individual’s tax situation is unique and a lot of pertinent information can be extracted during a conversation with your preparer. This conversation is also a good time to discuss future tax strategies and planning. Please contact us for more information or to schedule your appointment today.

 

 

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