Brackets, brackets, brackets.
Depending on when you read this, you may have already filled yours out (or it may already be busted!). Billions fly around every year (probably much of it not reported onForm W-2G!), and it’s become a huge part of this season, as you no doubt know.
You know what else is a big part of this season? Unclaimed refunds.
Every year, we get the number from the IRS, and it always hovers around $1B. That’s where it is this year: http://cnnmon.ie/1wQECRl
There’s buckets of the green stuff sitting in accounts, waiting for those unsuspecting non-filers to realize that it’s actually theirs. DEADLINE: April 15.
If you didn’t file taxes in 2011 (i.e., during the spring of 2012), now is your last chance. Allow us to help you do so by either reviewing a prior year’s return which somebody else submitted for you, or by evaluating your financial records if you didn’t actually file a return that year. It’s amazing how many people that is true for.
Lastly, in the interest of having this NOT happen for you, let’s make sure you do it right for THIS year.
In early January, I posted a “checklist”, and it was one of my most popular messages. I guess it was handy. And now is a time when many are finally getting around to this, so I thought I’d share it again.
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 local 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.
Once Again, Michael Kessler’s 2015 Tax Time Document Chase List
“So many fail because they don’t get started; they don’t go.” – W Clement Stone
Yes, this is a long list — but it’s the unfortunate reality of our tax code that it’s not even comprehensive! But these items will cover 95% of our clients. Really, this is for ensuring that we’re able to help you keep every dollar you can keep under our tax code.
Even if for some strange reason you won’t be using our cost-effective services this year, feel free to use this list as a handy guide…
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
Jury duty pay
Gambling and lottery winnings
Prizes and awards
Scholarships and fellowships
State and local income tax refunds
Health Insurance Information (New for 2015)
* All 1095-A Forms from marketplace providers (if you purchased insurance through a Marketplace)
* Existing plan information (policy numbers, etc.)
* If claiming an exemption, your unique Exemption Certificate Number
* Records of credits and/or advance payments received from the Premium Tax Credit (if claiming)
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
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
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)
Education expenses (tuition and fees)
Child care expenses
Medical Savings Accounts
Tax return preparation expenses and fees
Estimated tax vouchers for the current year
Self-employment SEP plans
Self-employed health insurance
K-1s on all partnerships
Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses
State and local income taxes
IRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributions
Casualty or theft losses
Other miscellaneous deductions
We hope this helps, and we really look forward to seeing you in here in 2015!
Michael J. Kessler, CPA