WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR TAX CONSULTATION APPOINTMENT
Uncertain about what documents you need to get started on your tax return?
Here is a list of things you will want to bring to your tax appointment. A few extra minutes of preparation before we meet can translate to significant tax savings. You may not need everything on this list. Please do not stress-out over trying to bring everything to the appointment. We want to complete your return as quickly as possible and make the experience as painless as possible.
Affordable Care Act Paperwork
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, became law on March 23, 2010, and the tax effects finally will be felt in 2015. There are many new forms and documentation requirements, and some taxpayers will discover that they no longer can use the tax return they are accustomed to completing because of a subsidy to buy health insurance.
Under Obamacare's individual shared responsibility provision, you must let the IRS know when you file that you had the required minimum essential health care coverage or were exempt. If you have qualified coverage, you'll get a Form 1095-C from your employer or a Form 1095-B from the insurer.
Social Security Card(s) (Taxpayer and Spouse)
If you have your Social Security card, bring it with you to the appointment. If you have changed your name (due to marriage, divorce, etc.), let us know which last name the Social Security Administration has for you. Bring the Social Security Card and date of birth for each of your children
Current Driver's License(s)
We will need your driver’s license to verify your identity.
Last Year’s Federal and State Tax Returns
If you are not a prior A&A client, please bring a copy of last year’s income tax return with you. Some information from the prior year’s return(s) could be helpful in calculating this year’s tax return.
Wage Statements – Form W2
For employee income, you will receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers. If you have not received this form by the beginning of February, you will need to contact your employer. Employers are required to send W-2s by January 31. Bring all Wage Statements with you when you come in to have your income tax return prepared.
Child Care Expenses and Provider Information
Do you pay someone to provide care for your children while you work, or search for work? You may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35% of your expenses. You will need to bring the provider’s name, address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This can be a Social Security Number (if the provider is an individual) or an EIN number. We will need the total amount of expenses you paid during the year.
Medical, Eye Care and Dental Expenses
Do you itemize your deductions? If so, then medical, eye care, dental expenses and premiums paid for health insurance may be deductible, if your total expenses for the year are greater than 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (total income, minus federal adjustments allowed). Review these expenses with your preparer to determine whether you qualify for this deduction.
Charitable Contributions – Cash and Non-Cash
Have you made charitable contributions during the past year? Cash contributions to your church, Salvation Army, Goodwill and other charitable organizations can be deductible, if you itemize your deductions. Bring a record for contributions you made directly and through employer withholdings (such as United Way). You MUST keep the written acknowledgments from the charitable organization. Non-cash charitable donations (vehicles, clothing or real property), are valued at the fair market value. You should receive a written receipt or acknowledgment of these contributions from the charitable organization. Keep records of your contributions and provide your preparer with your contribution amounts at the time we prepare your income tax return.
Mortgage or Home Equity Loan Interest Paid – Form 1098
If you itemize your deductions, you may be able to deduct your qualified mortgage interest and/or home equity loan interest. Points may be deductible. You should receive Form 1098 by January 31, which shows the interest you paid in the previous year. If you do not receive this form, the information may be found on your mortgage bill. Bring Form 1098 (or mortgage bill) when you come in to have your taxes prepared. If you do not receive Form 1098, or the information is not on your mortgage invoice, call your mortgage holder directly.
Real Estate or Personal Property Taxes
If you itemize your deductions, you can deduct amounts paid for real estate and personal property taxes from your Adjusted Gross Income. Bring proof of tax payment in when you come to have your income taxes prepared. If your mortgage company pays real estate taxes for you from an escrow fund, they will send proof of this payment on Form 1098 by January 31. To get the amount paid for Personal Property Taxes contact your taxing authority and ask them to give you the amount paid during the year.
Record of Purchase or Sale of Real Residence
You need to report the sale of your main residence only if you have a gain for which part of the gain is taxable. If you owned the home and lived in it as your primary residence for at least two years, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 if Married Filing Jointly) of the gain from your income.
Unreimbursed Employment-Related Expenses
If you have necessary job expenses (required uniforms, protective clothing, employment agency fees, dues to professional organizations, etc.) for which your company did not reimburse you, you may be able to deduct these expenses. Keep records of your expenses and bring that information in to your appointment.
Tuition paid for college classes (any family member) may provide additional tax credits. Bring the amount you paid for higher education (1098-T) to your appointment.
Are you a teacher in grades K-12, an instructor, counselor, principal or aide who has logged at least 900 hours of work in school during the year? If so, you may deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses paid.
Pension or Retirement Income – Form 1099-R
Bring your Form(s) 1099-R (Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.) to you appointment. You should receive this form from the payer by January 31.
Investment or Dividend Income statements - Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV
INTEREST INCOME: If you earned interest on any of your investment accounts during the prior year, you should receive Form 1099-INT (Interest Income) by January 31.
DIVIDEND INCOME: If you received dividend income from stocks or funds during the prior year, each company or institution will send you a Form 1099-DIV by January 31. .
Student Loan Interest – Form 1098-E
You may be able to deduct the interest you paid on student loans. You should receive a Form 1098-E showing how much interest you paid during the year. .
Social Security Income – Form SSA-1099
Did you receive Social Security payments? If so, some of these funds may be taxable income. The Social Security Administration should send you this information by the end of the year.
Unemployment Income – Form 1099-G
Did you receive state unemployment compensation? If so, it should be included as income on your return. The State should send you Form 1099-G by January 31. Contact your state office if you have not received your Form 1099-G.
Sales of Stocks or Bonds – Form 1099-B
If you sold Stocks or Bonds bring Form 1099-B to your appointment, along with any brokerage statements (showing dates bought and sold), confirmation receipts (showing cost basis and fees paid), so we can get you the lowest tax rate available for your situation.
Self-Employed Business/Farm Income and Expenses – Form 1099-MISC
Do you run a business as a sole proprietor or professional? If so, you are taxed on gross income minus expenses. Bring all your accounting records (This includes Form 1099-MISC) showing your income totals and expense items.
Lottery or Gambling Winnings – Form W-2G
Did you win cash or prizes last year? If so, those winnings may be subject to income tax withholding. If you receive gambling winnings of $600 or more, the payer should send you a Form W-2G. This form shows the amount you won and the amount withheld, if applicable.
Lottery or Gambling Losses
Did you know that gambling losses could be deducted on your income tax return? Only up to the amount of your gambling winnings, though. You need to keep a written log that includes the date, location, type of gambling, amount of wager and your winnings and losses.
Income and Expenses from Rental Property
Do you own rental property? You will need to report as income any money received as rent. You can deduct certain expenses for your rental property (acquiring, maintaining, insuring and operating).
Alimony Paid or Received
If you paid alimony, it is deductible on your income taxes. If you received alimony, it is taxable income. Child support is neither deductible nor taxable. If you paid Alimony, you will need to bring the recipient’s Social Security Number.
FILING YOUR INCOME TAX RETURN
"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous"
Your Individual Federal Income Tax Return is due by April 15.
For an automatic 6-month extension of time to file, submit Form 4868 to the IRS. Caution: Although Form 4868 allows you more time to file, it does not extend the time to pay your taxes. Filing or paying after the due date may result in penalties and interest.
If you expect to owe on your tax return, explore the IRS guidelines for taxpayers who owe money.
Adjust your federal tax withholding for the upcoming year using the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator.
The Inflation Reduction Act extended certain energy-related tax breaks and made adjustments to the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction for tax year 2023.
For tax year 2023, the standard deduction amounts are as follows: $27,700 for married couples filing jointly, $13,850 for single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, and $20,800 for heads of households.
The top marginal tax rate for 2023 remains 37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes over $578,125 ($693,750 for married couples filing jointly). Other rates vary by income bracket.
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount for 2023 is $81,300 and begins to phase out at $578,150 ($126,500 for married couples filing jointly).
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 2023 is up to $7,430 for qualifying taxpayers with three or more qualifying children.
The monthly limit for qualified transportation fringe benefits and qualified parking is $300 for tax year 2023.
For 2023, the maximum contribution to health flexible spending arrangements is $3,050. The carryover amount for cafeteria plans is $610.
Medical Savings Account requirements for 2023 include a minimum annual deductible of $2,650 and a maximum out-of-pocket expense amount of $5,300 for self-only coverage; $5,300 minimum and $7,900 maximum deductible for family coverage.
The foreign earned income exclusion for 2023 is $120,000.
Estates of decedents who die during 2023 have a basic exclusion amount of $12,920,000.
The annual exclusion for gifts is $17,000 for the calendar year 2023.
The maximum credit for adoptions for 2023 is up to $15,950.
Notably, the personal exemption for tax year 2023 remains at 0, following its elimination in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There is no limitation on itemized deductions for 2023, as per the same Act.
For a FREE analysis of your unique tax situation and immediate assistance with your tax return, or other tax matters, contact us today. Consultations with our former IRS Personnel and CPAs are always FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.