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Get Ready for Tax Season with our helpful tips.

This topic is off subject and doesn’t really have anything to do with real estate, but we know that all of our clients file taxes, so we wanted to provide you with some helpful tips to get you ready for the upcoming April 15th deadline. 

  1. Get Organized

Gather all of your proper documents.  It’s generally a great idea to place all of your documents in a folder or binder. If you are a highly detailed person, a binder with tab dividers which separate out the contents is a great idea. This can make it very easy when you meet with your tax preparer. You may want to get the tab dividers that have pockets, as that can be used to put receipts in, etc. 

  • Form W-2 for wages/salary from any employers you worked for, they should have supplied you with this by January 31, 2019. 
  • Form 1099’s; there are several depending upon what type of income you received. Common forms are 1099-G if you are unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits, 1099-Misc for compensation from freelance work, 1099-R for annuity income, IRA and pension, and 
    1099-Div for those who have earned dividends, 1099-R for annuity income, IRA and pension, 1099-B, 1099-S for income from sales of property and stock, W-2G for any income from gambling. 
  • Any other income from prizes and awards (like lottery winnings), jury duty pay, alimony, or rentals.
  • If you sold or purchased a home, you will need copies of your buyer or seller settlement documents. If you were a client of ours, we send these to you at the beginning of the year as a courtesy. 

2. Tackle the Receipts

Find and sort all of your receipts. It’s generally a good practice to sort them by category. Place all home maintenance and improvement receipts in one folder, medical bills and expenses in another, etc. It’s a great idea to use zipper pocket folders for storing receipts or folder jackets to ensure you don’t lose any. 

If you are a business owner, you may want to sort the receipts by month and type. Ensure you also have your fuel receipts and mileage log ready. 

3. Schedule your Appointment with Preparer

Be sure that you set your appointment now with your tax preparer. This is the busiest time of the year and they are generally quite busy. It’s best not to wait until the last minute to try and get an appointment. This way you can ensure that if you are missing something, you have the ample time to get it together for the preparer before time runs out. 

If you are planning on filing an extension, it is important for you to review this at your appointment. 

4. Dispose of Important Documents Properly

Be sure that any documents or receipts that you determine are not needed or if you are tossing out old returns from years past that they are properly disposed of to protect your identity. It’s best to shred documents with a shredder machine or find a local office supply store or business that might be holding a shred-a-thon. You may also attempt to burn them, but it’s not so good for the environment. Shredding is the best practice. 

Here’s to hoping that our tips provide you with some relief during this tax season.