Preparing For Tax Season

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As soon as the holiday season is over, tax season begins. While some might find this time stressful, others might view it as a welcome opportunity to bring in some extra funds. Whatever your feelings, it’s important to go into the season organized and prepared. There are quite a few items to get in order before you file your return. If you’re not quite sure of what you will need for your return, you can refer to the list below.

Receipts, Statements, & Records

  • Donation receipts

  • Job/Business expenses

    • Incurred during job hunting (such as travelling expenses)

    • Unreimbursed business expenses

  • Qualifying energy-efficient home improvements

    • Solar panels for electricity (must be used in-home)

    • Solar-powered water heater (except to heat swimming pools and hot tubs)

    • Wind turbines generating up to 100 kilowatts of electricity

    • Energy Star guideline approved geothermal heat pumps

  • Childcare costs

    • Have provider’s name, address, tax ID, and amount paid

  • Medical and dental expenses

Tax Forms

  • W-2s

  • 1099-G forms for unemployment income received

  • SSA-1099 form for Social Security benefits received

  • 1098-E form for student loan interest paid

  • 1098-T form for tuition and education costs paid

  • 1098 form for mortgage interest and private mortgage insurance

  • Last years tax return

Once you’ve gathered and organized all of your documents, decide whether you want to file your taxes on your own or have a professional do it. The more complicated your tax return, the more necessary it will be to go with a professional. When choosing a tax preparer, check their qualifications and search the Better Business Bureau and state accountancy boards for any questionable business practices or disciplinary actions. Once you make an appointment with a preparer you are comfortable with, bring your aforementioned documents as well as the names, birth dates, and social security numbers of everyone you are claiming, including yours. You will also need to have this information if your file your taxes on your own. Once your tax return has been completed, review it for errors and send it off!

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