Don’t wait until the last minute to start thinking about your taxes. Have your return prepared by a qualified tax professional as soon as possible to avoid last-minute stress. The following is a list of key items that you will need to prepare your tax return:
- W-2’s from employers
- 1099’s for interest, dividends, rents or sales
- K-1’s for any S-corporations, partnerships or limited liability companies
- Revenue and expenses for any sole-proprietorship business
- 1098’s from financial institutions for home mortgage interest
- Real estate tax payments
- Contemporaneous receipts for contributions to churches or charities greater than $250
- Estimated tax payments paid during the year, both federal and state
- Records of significant out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Basis information (for example, price at time of purchase) and the date acquired for any assets (stocks, mutual funds, real estate) that were sold during the current tax year
- Statements of tuition expenses and any student loan interest paid (if you have children attending college)
You should also look through your check registers to make sure you find all potential deductions.
The benefits of having your income tax return prepared by a tax professional rather than doing it yourself are:
- The tax laws are complicated and constantly changing and it’s difficult to keep up with it all.
- A tax professional will give you peace of mind that the return is prepared properly and that all allowable deductions are considered.
- You’ll save time and be free of headaches.
- A tax professional will stand behind his or her work and can represent you, if necessary, when dealing with the IRS.
- A tax professional can provide tax advice and planning throughout the year.
Remember, once your tax return is complete, file it with your previous returns and keep these records permanently.
For questions about your taxes or any other business-related issues, contact your local Rea & Associates office.
This article was originally published in Illuminations: Facts & Figures from people with a brighter way, a Rea & Associates enewsletter, 2/7/2007.
Note: This content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.