Now that tax time is around the corner I thought I’d put together a handy guide in case you find yourself in need of delegating your tax prep and return to our firm. As a reminder, both Jim and I are enrolled agents with the IRS and in addition to federal taxes we are capable of preparing and filing your state (nationwide) tax return as well. Here are some items to gather and consider.
- Organize your W2s. Gather all of your tax information from your respective employer(s). This also includes any 1099-MISC income if you operated as an independent contractor.
- Organize your other tax forms. This include other 1099 forms such as 1099-DIV, INT, as well as 1098 forms for student loan and home mortgage interest. Don’t worry, most of these forms are in the process of being mailed or emailed to you if hold such accounts.
- Organize your receipts. If you’re self-employed or incurred non-reimbursed expenses as an employee, these may be deductible. If you’ve used a credit or debit card for these expenses, they can be tracked and some companies will let you categorize them. Additionally if you use an online site such as Mint, you can create your own expense reports for easier access and organization. Examples of such expenses include meals and entertainment (at 50%), self-employed health insurance premiums, supplies, and others.
- If you travel a lot for work you may be entitled to a deduction. Throughout the year you (obviously) kept track of your trips in a journal or with an app. Organize this and make sure it’s accurate.
- Have you maxed out your IRA? Remember you have until you file or the tax deadline (whichever is sooner) to make your full IRA contributions for 2016.
Although this list is not exhaustive, it can help give you an idea of what deductions you may be allowed, and how to get organized. Of course, part of what we do is to look for additional deductions and credits you qualify for. If you’d like our help, please let us know.
*Originally published here.
Written by Sterling Raskie, MSFS, CFP®, ChFC®. Sterling provides expert guidance for your Retirement, Insurance, Education Funding, Investments and Income Tax issues and concerns. In addition to his contribution to the “Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row” blog, you’ll find Sterling’s writings all around the internet. Sterling is also an Instructor of Finance at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.
Contact Sterling: 630-40-DUCKS (630-403-8257) firstname.lastname@example.org
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