Taking the Pain Out of Tax Season

If preparing for a visit with your tax advisor leaves you fretting over what to bring with you, then relax! This article will help guide you to complete the task in an organized and efficient manner.

Following the flow of the income tax return, let’s organize your tax documents and receipts into five categories: income, adjustments to income, deductions, tax credits and tax payments. Collect all W-2’s and Form 1099’s. Write down on a sheet of paper or a tax organizer, for each person in your household, the form received and the payor who issued the form. Include any investment 1099s or Schedule K-1’s received from ownership interests. Do you own a sole- proprietorship business? Provide a summary of your business’s income and expenses for the year along with a list of property and equipment purchased.

If you have adjustments to income such as educator expenses, moving expenses, IRA contributions(Form 5498) or student loan interest deductions (Form 1098-E), list them and attach documentation to your organizing sheet. This is the area of tax preparation where the most omissions occur and if it was not part of your previous year’s tax return, you may not think to include them.