2013 Tax Preparation Checklist

1.  Important Tax Documents

  • W2 and 1099-MISC
  • Unemployment 1099-G
  • Pension 1099-R
  • Social Security 1099-SSA
  • State and Local Income Tax Refunds 1099-G
  • Gambling and Lottery Winnings W2-G
  • Investment Income and Stock Transactions 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B
  • Business and Partnership Income K-1
  • Mortgage Interest 1098-Mortgage Interest
  • Student Loan Interest 1098-E
  • College Tuition 1098-T
  • HSA / MSA Distributions 1099-SA

2. Miscellaneous Income

  • Alimony Received
  • Jury Duty Pay

3. Dependents

  • Full Name, SSN, Date of Birth, and number of months living with you
  • Statement from daycare showing daycare name, address, tax id#, and amount you paid
  • Copy of divorce decree section which spells out which parent claims the child each year
  • Proof of residency if the child is not your son or daughter

4. Divorce and Separation

  • Copy of divorce decree section which spells out which parent claims the child each year
  • Copy of divorce decree section related to filing status which determines if you will be: Married Filing Jointly,  Married Filing Separately,  Head of Household, or Single
  • Copy of divorce decree section related to tax deductions including:

How Itemized Deductions are to be split

Whether you are required to Itemize or required to take Standard Deduction

  • Copy of divorce decree section related to retirement distribution settlements
  • If you paid or received alimony provide the amount and SSN of the other party

5. College Expenses

  • Tuition and Fees typically on 1098-T
  • Books and Supplies not on 1098-T
  • Computers and Laptops
  • Receipt of Scholarships and Fellowships
  • Student Loan Interest Paid typically on 1098-E

6. Tax Credits

  • Earned Income Credit – determined based on income and dependents
  • Daycare Credit – determined based on income and amount paid
  • Child Tax Credit – determined based on age and dependency status of child
  • Retirement Savings – determined based on income and previous distributions
  • Education Credits –determined based on income, expenses paid, dependency (if for child)

7. Loan Interest

  • Home Mortgage Interest typically on 1098 Form
  • Interest on second home
  • Automobile Loan interest – deductible in some instances
  • Investment Interest – normally provided by broker but ask
  • Business Interest – see the Small Business Tax Checklist

8. Meals and Entertainment

  • Provide receipts for meals and entertainment related to your job or work
  • Business Meals and Entertainment – see the Small Business Tax Checklist

9. Automobile

  • If you have job or work related use of your automobile please provide:- Mileage Log or some other record of the number of miles driven for work
    – Personal Property Tax paid for the vehicle
    – Loan Interest paid for the vehicle
    – Amount of reimbursement that you received
  • Always provide the Year, Make, Model, Year-ending odometer reading, Purchase Date, and Purchase Amount of every auto that you use for work
  • If you used your vehicle in relation to medical treatment please provide the number of miles driven for medical treatment
  • If you used your vehicle in relation to charitable activity please provide the number of miles driven for charitable purposes
  • If you previously used the Actual Expense Method or purchased a new auto please provide amounts paid for: gas, insurance, repairs, loan interest, license registration and title fees, sales tax, and property tax.
  • If you donated your vehicle to a charity please provide:
    – Year, Make, Model, VIN#, Odometer Reading
    – Date of Donation
    – Name, Address, Tax ID# of charity
    – Fair Market Value of vehicle when donated
    – Did charity keep or sell the vehicle?
    – What was sale price if the charity sold the vehicle?
    – 1099-C if you received it

10. Travel

  • If you traveled for work please provide receipts for:
    –  Transportation-Airfare, Trains, Rental Cars, Taxis
    – Rental Car Fuel
    – Lodging
    – Laundry / Dry Cleaning
    – Fees
    – Amount you were reimbursed
  • Business Travel – see the Small Business Tax Checklist

11. Telephone and Internet

  • If you use your cell phone, home phone, or internet connection for work please provide:
    – % of time used for work
    – Amount paid for monthly phone service
    – Cost of equipment purchases

12. Insurance

  • Insurance is not always deductible but ask your tax preparer whether you can deduct:
    – Health Insurance – paid out of pocket
    – Auto Insurance
    – Life Insurance
    – Homeowners/Renters Insurance
    – Disability Insurance

13. Home Office

  • If you used a portion of your home for work please ask your tax preparer if you quality for a home office deduction.  If you qualify you will be asked to provide:
    – Rent Paid
    – Mortgage Interest typically on 1098
    – Real Estate Tax
    – Homeowners/Renters Insurance
    – Utilities (Electric, Gas, Water, Sewer, Trash, Fax or Second Phone, Internet)
    – Repairs – General
    – Repairs – Specific to the office
    – Maintenance (Lawncare, Snow Removel, Pest Treatment, Cleaning)
    – Association Dues
    – Furniture and/or equipment used in home office

14. Medical Expenses

  • Medical expenses typically have to exceed a certain dollar threshold before they become deductible.  Discuss with tax preparer before compiling these expenses.  You may be asked to provide:
    – Medical Insurance
    – Long Term Care Insurance
    – Dental Insurance
    – Fees and Copays paid to Doctors and Hospitals
    – Prescription Medicine
    – Eyeglasses or contacts
    – Dental Care
    – Ambulance Fees
    – Certain expenses for home alterations
    – Vehicle Conversions
    – Reimbursements Received for medical expenses
    – Mileage driven for medical care

15. Homeowner / Renter Information

  • Mortgage Interest typically on 1098
  • Real Estate Tax paid during the tax year
  • Home office expenses
  • Moving expenses
  • Provide closing statements for the sale or purchase of any home during the tax year

16. Tax Payments

  • Real Estate Tax paid during the tax year
  • Personal Property Tax paid during the tax year
  • Sales Tax paid on major purchases (car, boat, RV, etc.)
  • IRS, State, and Local tax payments and estimates paid during the tax year

17. Retirement Contributions

  • Traditional or Roth IRA, Keogh, etc.
  • Discuss with your tax preparer whether you can still contribute for previous tax year

18. Gambling Winnings and Losses

  • Provide W2-G for winnings
  • Provide statements supporting losses

19. Miscellaneous Deductions

  • Safe Deposit Box Fees
  • Investment Fees
  • Tax Preparation Costs
  • Adoption Expenses
  • Casualty and Theft Losses
  • Legal Fees

20. Work Expenses

  • Union Dues
  • Teachers deduction
  • Training, Education, and License Fees
  • Automobile Expenses
  • Telephone and Internet Expenses
  • Meals and Entertainment
  • Gifts
  • Travel Expenses
  • Home Office
  • Provide amounts you received as reimbursement

21. Charitable Donations

  • For Cash Donations provide the date paid and amount
  • For Cash Donations over $250 provide a receipt from the charity
  • For Non-Cash Donations provide:
    – Name, Address, Tax ID# of charity
    – Date of Donation
    – Description of donated items
    – Condition and cost of donated items
    – For Automobile Donations provide:
    – Year, Make, Model, VIN#, Odometer Reading
    – Date of Donation
    – Name, Address, Tax ID# of charity
    – Fair Market Value of vehicle when donated
    – Did charity keep or sell the vehicle?
    – What was sale price if the charity sold the vehicle?
    – 1099-C if you received it

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