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It's 2019 Tax Time! Are You Ready?

Every couple of years, we send out tips for gathering your tax information and making this process a lot easier.  We hope you have incorporated some of our tips throughout the year into your daily processes, all of which should help in preparing the information for your tax return.  We are happy to share a few tips which we find useful.

1)  Create a tax folder for 2019 if you have not done so already.  All tax forms you have received, or will receive in the next few weeks, should go into that file.

2)  Collect all receipts for tax deductions you may be able to take on your return - you will need to see if you can itemize these or if you will take the standard deduction.  These would include both cash and physical donations to charitable organizations, receipts for medical items (if you qualify), and receipts for business related expenses such as mileage and supplies.  Make sure you have received the tax form for your mortgage interest - a common deduction.

3)  Gather investment statements which you will need to refer to for capital gains, interest, and puchases and sales which must be reported.

4)  Gather your bank statements and confirm that you have received a 1099 form for any interest you received on those accounts.

5)  Confirm you have received a W2 from your employer(s) reflecting your earnings for the year.

6)  Do you have a Health Savings Account(HSA)?  You will likely receive a form for that as well.

7)  Do you have students for whom you are paying college tuition?  You should receive a tax form for that amount as well.

8)  If you are retired and receive Social Security, have distributions from an IRA, penion or 401(k), be sure you have that information in the file.

9)  Have a home office which you use for a deduction?  Collect any relevant bills for that deduction so you are ready to pro-rate them on the return.

By having all of this information in the tax folder, when you begin to prepare the return, or take the information to a preparer, you will have everything you need all in one place.  Review your tax forms to make sure they are complete, and call the providers if you are missing any.  Being proactive will save you time, stress and money (fewer calls from the accountant and a reduced chance of missing a deduction)!  If you set up this file at the beginning of the year, you are even better equipped for the challenge!  Things may be a little different when you prepare your 2020 taxes next year.  Talk to your advisors for more information.

Once you have retained the important papers you need to keep for tax purposes, you may choose to shred other receipts and bills which you do not need any longer.  No need to keep paystubs, utility bills and credit card statements for 20 years in the attic!

Still need guidance or help gathering all of this information from your boxes of paper?  Give us a call at 216-321-6126 for an appointment for a free consultation, and we will let you know how we can help speed up this process for you!

                                      Muffy and JoEllen


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