Gray Laney’s 2018 Tax Preparation Checklist

tax preparation checklist

Yes, you *thought* 2017 was in the rearview mirror, didn’t you?Well, not for the IRS it isn’t.That’s because, as you probably know, we are now beginning the process of doing what we do best: effectively, legally, and ethically reporting our clients’ financial lives to the government for maximum savings — i.e., tax return preparation.And while the government last week set the date for when they will actually begin accepting electronically-filed returns (Monday, January 29, 2018), that doesn’t mean that we can’t get started on pulling together what we need to have your return ready to file ASAP.(In fact, it’s almost always a great idea to file your return as early as possible in the season … not just for peace of mind, but also because it prevents fraudsters from using your information to steal any refund that might be headed your way.)So, to that end, I’ve put together my annual tax preparation checklist of what you’ll need to have for an effectively-prepared tax return. This is meant to be informational for you, and as something you can hold on to over the following weeks as you begin the process of excavating your financial files.There may be certain situations where we’ll need other documentation to get you even more deductions. But, of course, we’ll let you know about that, should the situation arise.And also, just to remind you, this is also the last tax return we’ll be filing for you under the “old” tax code. It will be interesting to have us compare what your taxes would look like under 2018 rules (at least on a very basic level), which we’d be glad to do for you, when you come in.You see, I truly do pity those who attempt to wade through all of the different tax codes and forms on their own, and not devote a week’s labor to the transaction. It really doesn’t pay to “go it alone” for certain tasks.Gray Laney’s 2018 Tax Preparation Checklist“In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices.” – Dr. Kathleen HallWith all of the changes every year (and, of course, that’s especially true THIS year), filing your taxes on your own is not for the faint of heart. That’s even with nice-looking softwares on the market which purport to make it easy for you.But that’s what we’re here for. Let us be your easy button.Below is a list of what you will need during the tax preparation process. Not all of them will apply to you — probably MOST will not. Nonetheless, it’s a useful checklist for all Winter Park taxpayers.Before you get overwhelmed: 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 Winter Park 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…Personal DataSocial Security Numbers (including spouse and children)Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security NumberEmployment & Income DataW-2 forms for this yearTax refunds and unemployment compensation: Form 1099-GMiscellaneous income including rent: Form 1099-MISCPartnership and trust incomePensions and annuitiesAlimony receivedJury duty payGambling and lottery winningsPrizes and awardsScholarships and fellowshipsState and local income tax refundsUnemployment compensationHealth Insurance Information: NOTE — despite the passage of tax reform that changes this information for 2018 taxes, we still need it for 2017 taxes.* 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)Homeowner/Renter DataResidential address(es) for this yearMortgage interest: Form 1098Sale of your home or other real estate: Form 1099-SSecond mortgage interest paidReal estate taxes paidRent paid during tax yearMoving expensesFinancial AssetsInterest income statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OIDDividend income statements: Form 1099-DIVProceeds from broker transactions: Form 1099-BRetirement plan distribution: Form 1099-RCapital gains or lossesFinancial LiabilitiesAuto loans and leases (account numbers and car value) if vehicle used for businessStudent loan interest paidEarly withdrawal penalties on CDs and other fixed time depositsAutomobilesPersonal property tax informationDepartment of Motor Vehicles feesExpensesGifts to charity (receipts for any single donations of $250 or more)Unreimbursed expenses related to volunteer workUnreimbursed expenses related to your job (travel expenses, entertainment, uniforms, union dues, subscriptions)Investment expensesJob-hunting expensesEducation expenses (tuition and fees)Child care expensesMedical Savings AccountsAdoption expensesAlimony paidTax return preparation expenses and feesSelf-Employment DataEstimated tax vouchers for the current yearSelf-employment taxSelf-employment SEP plansSelf-employed health insuranceK-1s on all partnershipsReceipts or documentation for business-related expensesFarm incomeDeduction DocumentsState and local income taxesIRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributionsMedical expensesCasualty or theft lossesOther miscellaneous deductionsWe’re here to help. Let me know if you have any questions.Warmly, Gray Laney(407) 425-2657Laney & Laney PA, CPA  

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