Important Documents You Will Need to Prepare Your Tax Returns
The Internal Revenue Service requires that you file taxes every year. If you keep good records, preparing your tax returns should not be a stressful process. Knowing that the documents you need are at your fingertips will greatly reduce any difficulties in the filing process. Below is a list of the documents you will need to have on hand before you prepare your tax return:
Paperless Records – Paperless banking has turned receipts into relics. Online statements have backup records that are suitable documentation for potential deductions related to the following: charitable donations, health care outlays, job search expenses and unreimbursed work expenses. Many ignore the ritual of annual tax filing. To save yourself time and stress, set aside a few extra minutes each month to take note of the following tax related information:
- Check numbers
- Expense titles
- Dollar amounts
- Payee names
Create a dedicated spreadsheet to tax records. Consider downloading it throughout the year and print documents that are available online for a limited time.
Consider the Deductions for the Year
Make a note of your car mileage each time you drive for volunteer work, medical or business appointments. Also make a note of bus fares, parking, taxi and toll fees so that it helps in qualifying for a deduction.
Hold on to cash receipts pertaining to charitable work, job-searches, your transportation, and other tax-deductible activities. Hold on to the paperwork, receipts and documents which are required to prepare the return, even if you do not know or are uncertain about some of the details.
Documents relating to your life events such as alimony payments, adoption, custody papers death, divorce, marriage and other agreements are very important and must be saved. Remember, a newborn child not only brings joy, but also potential tax advantages. When you prepare your return you must have these documents close at hand:
- Social Security card
- Receipts of childcare expenses
- College savings plans contributions
New homeowners should keep paperwork such as:
- Closing documents
- Invoices from home improvements, including proof of payment and receipts
- Annual mortgage statement
Keeping closing documents ready is essential if it does not appear on the interest statement. Home improvements include the addition of wheelchair ramps which can be considered as medical expenses for deductions. Energy efficiency improvements help in reducing tax liability. When using Turbo Tax to prepare taxes, be careful to not overlook deductions.
Always keep your filing history ready at hand. You will need to provide documentation when you apply for student loan, a mortgage, etc. The IRS audits for three years from the last filing date, but sometimes longer. Keep your support documents and copies of your tax returns for at least 7 to 10 years.
Why Choose Geraldine A. Clahar, CPA Firm
Geraldine A. Clahar, CPA, has over 30 years’ experience as a professional accountant. Her background includes work in both public accounting, (with three years at KPMG’s New York office), and private accounting in the healthcare industry. She holds a BBA in accounting from CUNY Baruch College and an MBA in Taxation from St. Johns University. Her firm, G.A. Clahar, CPA serves small- to-medium-sized businesses as well as individuals, servicing all of their accounting, bookkeeping, tax, and financial planning needs.
Our Overall Services Include:
- Assistance with bank loan applications
- Business consulting, budgeting and forecasting
- Financial statement compilations, review, and analysis
- Notary public
- Tax filings
- Assistance with obtaining federal and state Minority and Small Business Certification
About Our Firm
Our experience in both public and private accounting provides us with a set of skills usually found only in large accounting firms. But our small size means that we offer a high level of attention and personalized service to each client.
In the field of taxation, rules are updated or become obsolete very quickly. We are constantly refreshing our knowledge base to stay on the cutting edge in the accounting and tax fields.
For professional, attentive service, no matter the size or scope of your organization, whether it is for-profit, not-for-profit or for individuals, contact us today for an appointment.