What You Need to File Your Taxes

     It’s that time of the year again when we get to file our tax returns.  If you expect a refund, you’re probably anxious to get all your paperwork together so that you can file.  For those of you who expect to pay, you’re probably not too thrilled about it.  Whether you’re hiring a professional or preparing your own return, make sure you have all of your paperwork together before you start.   

                Here’s a list of some of the more common documents associated with filing.  Not every person will have every form, but this list should just help jog your memory so that you don’t forget something you need.  The list:

W-2 forms – that’s your statement of wages, you’ll need a W-2 for each job you held

1099 forms – there are several types:    

      1099-INT for interest

     1099-DIV for dividends

      1099-B for sale of securities  (some companies, like Edward Jones, send out a combined form that has your 1099-INT, 1099-DIV and 1099-B all in one statement)

     1099-R for annuities, pensions and other retirement plan withdrawals

      1099-G is for government payments like a state tax refund or unemployment benefits

      1099 MISC is for miscellaneous income, like commissions or non-employee compensation

     SSA-1099 is for Social Security income — a note about the SSA 1099 form, it has to be the most frequently lost form on the planet.  It’s usually the first one mailed out and I think it kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  If you receive Social Security benefits, or are assisting someone who does, please make sure that this form is included with the other tax documents.   For some people, it’s not taxable—but you need to include the figures from this form when preparing your taxes to determine if it is taxable or not.

W-2G is for gambling income.  If the Social Security form is the most frequently lost form, the W2-G comes in second.    If you’ve received one of these statments, you need to include it on your tax return.  If you don’t, you will get a letter from the IRS.   (Gambling losses, up to the amount of winnings, can be deducted on your Schedule A.)

     1098 tells how much interest you paid on your mortgage

     1098-E shows interest paid on a student loan

     1098-T shows the amount of tuition paid at an educational institution (you need this to claim those college tax credits)

If you sold stocks, mutual funds, or real estate, you’ll want to have your basis information on hand.  (Basis is what you paid for the property.  Many investment firms include the information right on your 1099B, but some don’t.)

If you purchased a new home this year, you’ll want to have a copy of your settlement statement.  It’s absolutely essential if you are applying for the first time homebuyer credit.

If you are a member of a partnership, joint venture, S corporation, estate or trust, you will also need a copy of the Schedule K-1.  Those forms aren’t required to be completed until March 15th, so you may not be able to file your personal return before then.   It’s a good idea to make your tax appointment once you have all of your other forms together.  The K-1 information can be added at a later date.

And of course, you’ll want to have all the documents to support your deductions like real estate taxes, charitable contributions or deductible business expenses.

It’s a good idea to have a copy of last year’s return with you also.

If you’re confused about a form or document, please call the office, we’ll be happy to talk with you.  We’re tax geeks, so we actually like this stuff.  Happy New Year!