Everyone’s financial situation is unique, so it’s impossible to say what exactly you will need to give to your tax professional in order for them to prepare your returns, but here are some general guidelines on what documents and information to collect.
1.) Current Contact Information – It’s easy to forget in February that you started using a new phone number the previous July. Make a habit of listing your current address, cell phone, email, etc. with your tax information
2.) Banking Information – The fastest, most secure way to get your refund is by direct deposit. Again, it’s easy to forget that you switched banks eight months ago, so include a voided check or a deposit slip with your tax documents. Never email this information. If your Tax Preparer doesn’t offer you a secure way to pass electronic documents back and forth, give them hard copies.
3.) State Issued ID – As a way to prevent Identity Theft, the IRS requires Tax Preparers to verify you are who you say you are by entering information from your driver’s license or state ID card.
4.) Copies of Social Security cards – The IRS also requires Tax Preparers to keep in their files copies of Social Security cards for everyone appearing on the tax returns, that includes the Taxpayer, Spouse, and any Dependents
5.) All Tax Documents that you receive in the mail or download from your work or financial institutions – This includes (but is not limited to) W2s, 1099s, 1098s, K1s. It can be helpful to make a checklist from the documents you received the previous year but be aware that you may receive different documents from year to year.
6.) A List of Charitable Donations and the Acknowledgement the Charities Send You
7.) Self Employed Income and Expenses – Expenses need to be categorized, for instance, Advertising, Office Supplies, Postage.
8.) Childcare Expenses – You will need how much you paid your childcare provider for the year, their address, and their Tax ID number.
9.) Documents showing your dependent children live with you – this includes school correspondences, childcare statements, medical records, a letter from your religious institution. You only need one document per child, but it needs to have your child’s name on it and your address. An easy one to use is the 1095 form your health insurance issues you for taxes, but only if your dependent child is listed on it.
10.) Homemade Brownies – Just testing to see if you read to the bottom of the list. Brownies or other home-baked treats are, sadly, not required.
You can upload documents to the Bottom Line’s secure portal by going to https://thebottomline.securefilepro.com
You can schedule a tax consultation by going to https://calendly.com/thebottomline