Please gather the following documents or information:
A signed copy of the Engagement Letter, if you have access to a printer. If not, you can sign it digitally and email it back to me, or at your first appointment.
A PDF or paper copy of your prior year tax return, if not prepared by me. If you have a PDF copy, you can send it to me electronically. If I prepared your taxes last year, I already have a copy.
Bank account number and routing number for your bank account, if you think you will be getting a refund and would like to have it direct deposited, which I recommend for security purposes.
All W-2's, 1099's and K-1's – If you have income from any other sources, please provide a summarized list. (Tips, jury duty pay, prizes, awards, scholarships, gambling winnings, foreign income, etc.)
Dependents – I will need to know their full names, birth dates, and social security numbers. (This info may already be included on your prior year tax return but double check it is correct).
Self-employment income – most appropriate is a profit and loss statement but if you don't have a bookkeeper, please call me and we will discuss exactly what and how to put everything together. Self employment includes independent contracting, sole-proprietorships, single-member LLC’s, or any other unregistered small business.
Rental income – if you own rental properties, please prepare a summarized list of income and expenses for each. If you have made significant renovations (beyond regular maintenance) to the property, please provide me with the cost of the renovations and the date they were completed (label them as to project). I will be sure you have captured everything during our interview meeting so don't worry if you have a lot of questions or wonderings!
Mortgage interest Form 1098 – If you own a home you will receive a year-end 1098 for the mortgage interest paid. If your loan was sold during the year, then you should have received two 1098's, one from each lender. If your property taxes are paid by the mortgage lender, this total should also be reflected on the form 1098 or the December statement. If you paid the property tax yourself, be sure to bring/provide the property tax statement from the county and the online receipt or cancelled check for your payment(s).
Charitable and/or political contributions – please provide a summarized list. If you’ve donated more than $500 worth of “stuff” for the YEAR to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or wherever, the summary would need to include the dates of the donations, the resale value of the donation (here's a guide: http://salvationarmysouth.org/valueguide-htm/), and a brief description of the items donated. Something to help you during the year if you are lazy like me, or busy... just take pictures with your cell phone, of everything you donate and then you can use that not only as proof if ever audited, but as a visual reminder so you can do your list at the end of the tax year.
Childcare expenses – I will need the name, address, phone number, and taxpayer identification number of each childcare provider, and the amounts you paid for each child, for each provider in case you more than one during the year. Include only pre-K expenses, after-school care, or summer daycare.
College tuition – please determine the amount you paid for tuition and required fees during the year. (This should be reported on a form 1098-T, which I need). Total up the cost of books and supplies per person / child.
Estimated tax payments – I will need a list of the exact dates you paid with the exact dollar amount.
Bought a home or refinanced a mortgage – please provide a copy of the Final HUD-1 (closing costs/statement).
Energy-saving home improvements – please provide a summary, as these may be eligible for a tax credit.
Alimony or spousal support – If you paid or received alimony during the year, we will need the name and social security number of the person who you paid it to, or who you received it from, as the case may be.
Health insurance and medical expenses – I’ll need to know if you had any gap in health insurance during the year. Medical expenses are generally deductible only to the extent they exceed 10% (or 7.5%, if over age 64) of your adjusted gross income.
Home-office deduction – please provide me with a summarized list of your expenses. If you are a renter, this will be your monthly rent, the total of your annual utilities listed out separately, HOA fees, Total monthly rentRent, utilities, maintenance, HOA fees, etc.) For more information, see here.
Unreimbursed work-related expenses, prior year tax preparation fees, financial advisor fees – please provide a summarized list. In most cases, these expenses are only deductible to the extent they exceed 2% of your income.
Other tax-related items – This could be IRA contributions, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Simple IRA, or traditional. Bring your year-end annual tax statement which should summarize the information I need.
Moving expenses – if you moved to a new city (not within the same city) or state, you may be able to deduct some of your moving costs such as the gas in your vehicles and a truck you rented. The truck rental is also deductible, or the cost of professional movers and moving supplies. Meals is no longer deductible.
Anything else that you think might be relevant.
If you have any questions about the above items, or if you don’t know if they apply to you, don’t worry – I can go over everything in detail at your appointment.
For record-keeping purposes, I will scan a copy of all documents you provide that are relevant to your tax return. The original copies of all documents will be returned to you when your tax return has been prepared and filed, or at any earlier time if you request them.