Tis the Season

Tis the Season to pull out your shoebox, put your receipts in order, and get ready to file your taxes.
Organizing your information goes a long way in making sure your fax information is accurate. Whether you prepare your own taxes or you go to a tax preparer, here are a few things the IRS lists on its website to help you move in the right direction.

Tax Preparation for Personal Information
Who is filing the tax return and how many people are covered on it:

⇒ Your Social Security number
⇒ Your spouse’s Social Security number (if married)
⇒ Social Security numbers for any dependents

Tax Preparation for Income Information

The following documents will help you prepare all the income information that you need to file a federal tax return:

⇒ W-2 Forms from all employers you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) worked for during the past tax year.
⇒ 1099 Forms if you (or your spouse) completed contract work and earned more than $600.
⇒ Investment income information (including: interest income, dividend income, proceeds from the sale of bonds or stocks, and income from foreign investments).
⇒ Income from local and state tax refunds from the prior year.
⇒ Business income (accounting records for any business that you own)
⇒ Unemployment income
⇒ Rental property income
⇒ Social Security benefits
⇒ Miscellaneous income (including: jury duty, lottery and gambling winnings, Form 1099-MISC for prizes and awards, and Form 1099-MSA for distributions from medical savings accounts)

Tax Preparation for Income Adjustments
The following adjustments can help reduce how much you owe in taxes, and in turn, increase your chance of receiving a tax refund:

⇒ Homebuyer tax credit
⇒ Green energy credits
⇒ IRA contributions
⇒ Mortgage interest
⇒ Student loan interest
⇒ Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
⇒ Self-employed health insurance
⇒ Moving expenses

Tax Preparation for Credits and Deductions
There are many tax credits and tax deductions for various expenses, which are designed to help lower the amount of tax that an individual has to pay:

⇒ Education costs
⇒ Childcare costs
⇒ Adoption costs
⇒ Charitable contributions/donations
⇒ Casualty and theft losses
⇒ Qualified business expenses
⇒ Medical expenses
⇒ Job and moving expenses

Tax Preparation for Direct Deposit
Are you interested in having your tax refund directly deposited into your bank account? If so, you will need to provide two things:

⇒ Your bank account number
⇒ The bank’s routing number

This tax forms / preparation checklist should help you get organized before filing your next income tax return.

Brenda Gayle Bryant is the owner of the gayle group, is certified in QuickBooks and Microsoft Office, and is a past board member of both the National Speakers Association and American Society for Training and Development. Although she has been a corporate consultant for many years, her passion is teaching people sound financial techniques. Let’s get the scary out of finance. You can contact her at brenda@thegaylegroup.com. Check out her websites:

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