“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
– Michael Jordan

Well, we’re nearing the home stretch in tax season. Since the deadline for individuals (April 15th) is just under a month out, we’ve been “packing them in” around here!

I’ll tell you what … one of the main reasons we love tax season around here is that we get to sit down with such incredible people. I’ve truly been reminded of how grateful I am for the clients we’ve got this year–and for your trust in us during these “unusual” times.

For this week’s Note, I’m re-addressing a question we get a LOT this time of year–“what do I need to bring you for my taxes?”

“Real World” Personal Strategy
Ensuring You Don’t Miss Anything at Tax Time
In early January, my blog included a “checklist”, and it was one of our most popular blogs. I guess it was handy!While some of these may seem like “pocket change”…just a few minutes of effort can pay a nice hourly rate! And, better in YOUR pockets than in Uncle Sam’s, right?

Putting together this list may run slightly counter to my business goals–after all, we do get paid to do this on behalf of clients! That said, our mission is to ensure that EVERYONE in our area saves the most possible when the IRS comes calling! Some of these may seem small, but trust me when I say that they add up.

So…even if for some strange reason you won’t be using our cost-effective services this year, and because we’re getting so close to April 15th, here it is again for you: what you’ll need to prepare your taxes…

Personal Data
 Social Security Numbers (including spouse and children)
Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number

Employment & Income Data
W-2 forms for this year
Tax refunds and unemployment compensation: Form 1099-G
Miscellaneous income including rent: Form 1099-MISC
Partnership and trust income
Pensions and annuities
Alimony received
Jury duty pay
Gambling and lottery winnings
Prizes and awards
Scholarships and fellowships
State and local income tax refunds
Unemployment compensation

Homeowner/Renter Data
Residential address(es) for this year
Mortgage interest: Form 1098
Sale of your home or other real estate: Form 1099-S
Second mortgage interest paid
Real estate taxes paid
Rent paid during tax year
Moving expenses

Financial Assets
Interest income statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OID
Dividend income statements: Form 1099-DIV
Proceeds from broker transactions: Form 1099-B
Retirement plan distribution: Form 1099-R
Capital gains or losses

Financial Liabilities
Auto loans and leases  (account numbers and car value) if vehicle used for business
Student loan interest paid
Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other fixed time deposits

Personal property tax information
Department of Motor Vehicles fees

Gifts to charity (receipts for any single donations of $250 or more)
Unreimbursed expenses related to volunteer work
Unreimbursed expenses related to your job (travel expenses, entertainment, uniforms, union dues, subscriptions)
Investment expenses
Job-hunting expenses
Education expenses (tuition and fees)
Child care expenses
Medical Savings Accounts
Adoption expenses
Alimony paid
Tax return preparation expenses and fees

Self-Employment Data
Estimated tax vouchers for the current year
Self-employment tax
Self-employment SEP plans
Self-employed health insurance
K-1s on all partnerships
Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses
Farm income

Deduction Documents
State and local income taxes
IRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributions
Medical expenses
Casualty or theft losses
Other miscellaneous deductions

So, I hope this helps.