How to Prepare for your Tax Appointment

Collect Your Records

Collecting and organizing your tax records is key to having a successful tax appointment.  It's a good practice to review your prior year tax return and compare it to your current year documents.  Often, taxpayers have similar income and deductions from year-to-year and doing a review will help identify missing documents.

For New Clients

If you are a new client, there are certain documents that you will need for the appointment.  Some of these documents will help us understand your tax situation while others will help reduce tax identity theft and improve return preparation.  Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

Document Purpose
1. Prior Year Tax Returns (Federal & State Needed to help us understand you as a taxpayer.  The prior year returns may also contain information needed for the current year tax return.
2. Social Security Card for each person claimed on the return. Will reduce the likelihood of name and SSN input errors.  Will also reduce the likelihood of tax identity theft.
3. Driver's License for Taxpayer (and spouse, if married) Needed to verify your identity.  Will help reduce tax identity theft and name input errors.
4. Canceled Check for refund direct deposit or payment direct debit. Needed to verify your bank name, account and routing number.

All Clients - New & Existing

Tax Organizer & Questionnaire
Please complete our secure online Tax Organizer.  The organizer will ask you questions and allow you to provide information needed to prepare your taxes.  The organizer also allows you to upload tax documents to us so we can get started prior to your appointment.

Please review the lists below for tax forms and other documents which may be needed for your tax preparation.

Tax Forms
During January and early February, most taxpayers receive certain tax documents from third parties -- employers, mortgage company, banks, etc.  These documents will be needed for your tax preparation.  A best practice is to place these documents in your "Income Tax File" and bring to the appointment..  Depending upon your tax situation, you may receive some or all of the following:

Tax Form Description
W-2 Wage and Income Report
1099-Misc Miscellaneous Income (typically if you have self-employment income or rentals)
1099-Int Interest Income
1099-Div Dividend Income
1099-B Brokerage Statement
1099-G State Tax Refund and/or Unemployment Compensation
1099-R Distributions from Pension, Retirement, IRA, and Insurance Contracts
SSA-1099 Social Security Income
1098 Mortgage Interest Statement
1098-T Tuition Statement for college expenses
1095 A, B or C Health Insurance coverage forms

If you receive any of the above documents, or other documents that may be needed for your tax preparation appointment, please be sure to bring them.

Other Documents & Information
In addition to the tax forms you receive, there may be other information needed for your return preparation.  Examples of additional information include:

Situation What to Bring
Child or Dependent Care Provider name, address, SSN/EIN, and amount paid.
Purchase, Sale, or Re-finance a home or real estate Closing statement (also known as HUD-1).  If you sold your principal residence, please bring both closing statements -- from original purchase and from sale.
Charitable Donations Receipts or other documents to support the amounts donated to each charitable organization.
Non-Cash Charitable Donations Receipts or other documents to support the amounts donated to each charitable organization.  Information needed includes: charity name & address, description of items donated, date donated, value when donated, and value when acquired.
Charitable Miles Driven Total number of charitable miles driven during the year.
Real Estate Taxes Paid Amount may be listed on Form 1098.  If not, a cancelled check or receipt from the tax office.
Property Taxes Paid Also known as Ad Valorem.  These amounts are typically listed on the tag receipts for Car, Trucks, Motorcycles, Boats, Planes, etc.
Vehicle Title Ad Valorem Sales Tax Bill of sale (if purchased from a dealer), cancelled check, and/or receipt from the county tax office.
Estimated Tax Payments Cancelled check and/or a listing of dates and amounts paid to the IRS or state department of revenue.
State Tax Payments for Prior Year Taxes Cancelled check and or a listing of dates and amounts paid to the state department of revenue.
Medical Expenses Paid A summary listing the total amount of unreimbursed medical expenses by type of expense: Doctor, Prescription, Dental, Glasses, Insurance.
Medical Miles Driven Total number of miles driven for medical care.
Student loan interest payments Form 1098-E
Educator Expenses The total amount of unreimbursed expenses (applies to K-12 teachers).
Alimony Received or Paid Total amount of alimony paid or received.  The SSN or ITIN of the ex-spouse.
IRA and Roth IRA Contributions The amount and date of any contribution.
Gambling Winnings & Losses W-2G and/or a listing of amounts won and amounts lost.
Moving Expenses A listing of the costs to transport household items and people from old residence to new residence.  May include lodging, miles driven, gas, van rental, and moving company.  The amount paid or reimbursed by an employer, if any.
Sale of Stocks, Bonds, Investments Description of the item sold including date sold, sale price date purchased, and cost basis.  This information may, or may not, be listed on a 1099-B.
Driver's Education for Child Certificate from driver's education school and amount paid.
Higher Education Expenses Description of items & amounts paid during the year.

Sole-Proprietor Business & Rentals
If you have a small business operated as a Sole-Proprietor or if you have one or more rental properties, you will need to provide certain information relating to the business activity.  Please review the following list:

Income Statement and/or completed worksheet Click for worksheet - Schedule C
Click for worksheet - Rental
Listing of asset(s) purchased during the year Click for worksheet
Prior year depreciation schedule. (May be in the prior year tax return.)
Purchase, sale or refinance of real estate HUD-1 closing statement
# of days rented.  # of days of personal use (Rental property only)

If you have any questions regarding the documents to bring to your tax appointment, please give us a call at (678) 919-1250.