Confused about what to bring to your tax appointment? If not, you’re not alone in wondering.
This question is one we get a lot at Tax Time CPAs. And whether you consider yourself tax-savvy or a tax novice, the answer may change from year to year and depend on your stage of life.
First thing, first. We want to go over the basics.
- Prior Year Tax Return(s): We prefer to start with the prior-year tax return. We’ll want copies of your full tax return for the prior year if you are a new client. Why? There is a lot of useful information on all those pages. We can capture any tax credits or losses that may get rolled forward to the current year. We can also pull a lot of your data from here.
- Personal Data: We’ll confirm personal information for you, your spouse, and dependents such as:
- date of birth (DOB)
- social security number
- names are spelled correctly
- correct address
Once we’ve covered the basics, we’re ready to move into the bulk of the tax documents.
The IRS is primarily interested in capturing all your income. So you’ll want to bring any document that supports the income you received during the year and any taxes that may have been withheld.
- Employment & Income Data: This includes things you normally think of, like W2s from an employer, but also revenue you may have forgotten about, like jury duty pay or money received for your side hustle. Social Security Income received also falls here.
- Financial Assets: Financial Assets capture your income within any bank and investment accounts. The transactions and income are generally found on the 1099.
Once we have all the income, we can move into the “fun part” – offsetting your income with tax deductions.
Next up, the information we, as taxpayers, are super interested in discovering more of: deductions. Sometimes it feels like there is a laundry list full of potential deductions. The relevant thing to note is if you’re wondering if it’s a possible tax deduction, other people are too, and it just might be. Ask us before you poo-poo it as not possible. There are some odd things out there, but primarily you’ll want to consider the following:
- Expenses: The big ones are:
- Medical expenses
- Charitable Donations
- Education Expenses
- Health Insurance: We still need records relating to credits or advance payments from the Premium Tax Credit if you purchased your health insurance on the health exchange.
- Homeowner/Renter Data
- Mortgage Interest
- Rent Paid
- Sale and/or Purchase of a New Home
- Autos: There might be deductible expenses if you registered your vehicle last year.
Check out our downloadable checklist for a full list of potential items.
Self-Employed & Business Documents
Finally, if you are self-employed or own a farm or rental property, you’ll have additional items to bring.
- Tax Payments Made: Our clients running their businesses will want to bring proof of their estimated tax payments.
- Financial Statements: Copies of income statements are an excellent place to start the conversation. We may ask for additional records to support income and expenses depending on the business activity.
Find More Information
A full list of potential items to help prepare for a tax appointment at Tax Time CPAs is provided on our website and is offered for download. We encourage you to reference it each year and throughout the year as a memory jogger to aid in collecting your tax documents.
At Tax Time CPAs, we encourage you to ask us questions because we firmly believe that the best solutions come from discussing the unknown with our clients. We spend our days deep in the tax code, so you don’t have to. Our tax knowledge helps bring peace of mind that your taxes are handled, so you can return to doing what you love.
Ready to schedule your tax appointment? Contact Us Today.