The Documents You Need for Tax Filing

Tax filing season is here, which means Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are as busy as ever. As you prepare to fill out your taxes, remember that wasting your precious allotted time with your CPA by sifting through receipts and guessing about numbers doesn’t benefit anyone.

Documents You Need for Tax Filing

There are four categories of information your CPA needs to prepare your taxes properly. Organize all necessary forms and receipts to ensure a smooth and speedy tax filing process.

  1. Identification and Basic Information

To prove any new relationships, you need to supply ID for yourself, your spouse, and all claimed dependents. While Social Security cards are preferred, most government-issued identification is generally accepted. Check with your tax preparer first if you have any questions.

Other general information and documents include your address, the previous year’s tax return, and anything related to a change in your tax status including any inheritance, marriage, divorce, or change in dependents. Be aware that the IRS is watching closely for divorced parents who file separately but claim the same child as a dependent.

  1. Income Documents

The majority of taxable income is summarized in standard IRS forms sent by payers. W-2 forms apply for traditional salaries, wages, bonuses, and tips. 1099 forms apply for self-employment, independent contracting, and most investment and interest income. K-1 forms apply for personal taxes relating to ownership, including S-corps, partnerships, LLCs, and trust or estate incomes.

Remember that each income source owes you the corresponding tax form. For example, there are many variations of Form 1099 depending on the particular source, so if you are missing a form or are not sure which type of form you should receive, check the IRS website.

It is your responsibility to supply documents for any income not covered by the above forms, including bank statements, spreadsheets, or written summaries. Other income sources could include rent income, alimony, and self-employment income under the 1099-MISC’s $600 threshold.

  1. Expense Documents

Expenses such as student loan interest, mortgage interest, and large charitable donations require a 1098 form. Other deductions like medical expenses, property taxes, childcare costs and moving expenses require further documentation for verification, including receipts, canceled checks, spreadsheets, or statements.

There may be additional deductions available that make itemizing worthwhile, but to find them your CPA must know the types of expenses you have. It can help to ask for a checklist of potential deductions – or look for one online – in advance of your tax meeting. Consider all possible deductions like losses from theft, casualty, or natural disaster.

  1. Health Insurance Information

If your health insurance was purchased through the marketplace, you will need the 1095-A form issued by the exchange. Your CPA will use it to complete other forms that could apply, like Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credit form) or Form 8965 (Health Coverage Exemption form).

It may help to have the income estimate you used to calculate your tax subsidy if you qualified for one. Remember also to bring information relating to payment or refund methods, including bank account and routing numbers.

If you prepare your documents correctly, you can save yourself both time and money. For tax filing assistance from the professionals and Cohen & Burnett, please visit our homepage or contact us today!

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