Spring is tax season, and there always seems to be additional paperwork required that you might not have considered, causing headaches whether you file your own taxes, use tax prep software, or work with an accountant. We put together a quick checklist for you, to make this process a little easier.
– Gather all your income documents. If applicable, this includes:
-W -2’s from employers
-1099-G forms from state or local tax refunds
-SSA-1099 showing social security benefits paid to you
-1099 for other income sources
-1099 -INT for interest and 1099-DIV for dividends paid by investments
-1099-R if you receive a pension, annuity or IRA stock distribution
-Payments for any federal, state or local income tax paid, if you do not have a 1099 for these payments as listed above.
-Deductions. Starting in 2018, the new tax law will double the standard deduction, so many people who may have itemized deductions in the past may instead opt for this deduction. This means that taking the time to examine and compare your itemized deductions this year to the new standard deduction will give you a better sense of whether or not you will need to hang on to all those receipts all year long.
Potential deductions will include:
-1098 home mortgage interest
-A summary of medical/dental/vision expenses, including insurance premiums, prescriptions, long-term care insurance, and any medical expenses related to home improvements such as ramps and railing for people with disabilities.
-Kendal-Crosslands Communities residents are able to benefit from a medical expense deduction on a portion of the entry fee in their entry year, and then, in addition, a portion of the monthly fee in the year it was paid. We have specific information on the amount of the deduction for the entry fee and monthly available each tax year, so be sure to bring a copy of your annual letter with you to your accountant.
-Contributions to Charity
-Property tax bills paid during the year
-Records of unreimbursed business expenses related to your job or investments
-Credits: 1098-T for education expenses and any other education-related expenses.
If you bought insurance through the Affordable Care Act, look for form 1095-A which will help you claim a premium tax credit.
-Don’t forget a copy of last year’s tax form. It can make it easier to remember what happened in the past year, and might even remind you of annual contributions you make but may have forgotten when looking for donation receipts. It will also remind you of any extra forms you needed to file. If you are using a new accountant, seeing last year’s tax form will help make their job much easier as they get to know you and your finances, and might even help save the time- and your money in return!
We hope this list helps you get through this tax season with the minimal amount of stress, and helps you make good decisions about how to best prepare for the changes in the tax law to make filing next year as simple as possible.