Posting This Again

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

– Lucille Ball

Well, last week I departed from my normal area of expertise, and wrote a real-world guide on preparing your family and home for a true disaster. Got lots of feedback — thank you!

But, I thought I should re-enter the fray of my primary task: ensuring you and your family don’t face an IRS disaster! And, since we’re nearing the home stretch in tax season, with the deadline for individuals (April 18th) just under a month out, we’ve been “packing them in” around here!

But this is something we still get asked about every day!

However, before I get there, I did want to say that 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 our clients–and for your trust in us during these “unusual” times.

We’re getting notes around here more and more often as people pass around my Strategy Notes to their friends. People seem to hunger for real world hope. I’m glad to be able to say that there *is* reason for anticipating a recovery in our future, but that whatever comes, my staff and I will be here to walk you through the storms.

So, onward with the answer to our most commonly-asked question around now!

Roger Menden’s

“Real World” Personal Strategy

Your Tax-Time Checklist!

In early January, I wrote a “checklist”, and it was one of our most popular messages. I guess it was handy!

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 the 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 18th, 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

Automobiles

Personal property tax information

Department of Motor Vehicles fees

Expenses

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

While some of these statements, and their ensuing deductions 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?

So, I hope this helps!

R MendenPosting This Again