How to Make Your Tax Preparer Happy this Year

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Do you find it frustrating trying to get all that financial information together just to file your taxes? Well, I’ve been there, too. Furthermore, after working in an accounting office for eight years, I can tell you that you are not alone.

For this reason, I have compiled a list of several things that can help prepare you for your tax appointment this year.

If, on the other hand, you do your own taxes, this list will also help make sure you have the information handy for yourself. Keep in mind, however, that this is most certainly not an all-inclusive list. It would be impossible for me to list everything that everyone might need, but I did try to think of the more common items.

First of all, your tax preparer needs to know if:

  1. You have had a change of address
  2. You had a baby born or an adoption, during the previous year (if so, you will need to take the child’s social security number and birth date in order to claim him or her as dependent)
  3. You had change in your marital status

What to take:

Income Documents

  1. W-2 and/or 1099 statements for work wages/income earned
  2. 1099 interest statements for interest and dividend income earned
  3. 1099 statements for capital gains, or losses

Expense Documents

If you itemize your deductions be sure to have the following available:

  1. 1098 mortgage interest statement for interest you paid on your home loan
  2. Amounts of charitable contributions
  3. Amounts of medical and dental expenses paid out of pocket (this usually only applies if for some reason you had a very large amount of out of pocket medical/dental expenses for the year)
  4. Amount of real estate taxes you paid
  5. Car tag receipts

A few other expenses you may be able to deduct are:

  1. Child care expenses that enable you to work
  2. College tuition and fees
  3. Retirement savings contributions

If you are self-employed, be sure to:

  1. Include your gross receipts for the year
  2. Include any expenses related to your business
  3. Include any assets that you purchased during the year, along with the cost and date of purchase
  4. Have available the amounts of interest you paid on any business loans
  5. Inform your tax preparer of any assets that were traded, sold or disposed of during the year (along with the amounts and dates of the transactions)
  6. Inform your tax preparer of any new business loans

Keep in mind that some of these deductions and/or expenses may not be relevant to you. Likewise, for your particular tax situation, you may require additional information. You will need to discuss those things with your preparer to be sure you get the greatest tax benefit possible.

Nevertheless, I hope this listing will at least get you and your accountant off to an excellent start this tax season. Good luck on getting back BIG refunds!!

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Posted on March 4th, 2009 in Money Matters | No Comments
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