Tax laws and rules are constantly changing, so if you want to take the stress out of filing taxes, your best bet is to utilize the services of a tax preparation service or an accounting firm that specializes in preparing individual taxes, such as Herman & Cormany. Tax professionals do a great job at maximizing deductions and limiting tax liability, but in order for them to do their jobs they will need important documents from you. Before you head to your tax preparer's office, collect the following documents:
Having all of your source of income statements are essential when having taxes prepared. If you are employed by a company, bring your W-2 form; if you work as an independent contractor, present any 1099 forms that you have received from clients. Some people also have 1099 or a W-2G form that shows gambling winnings, dividends, interest, retirement income, HSA distributions, or government payments. You will also need to bring forms showing any Social Security benefits or railroad retirement income, if applicable.
Personal Identification Documents
To prevent any errors in filing, it is a good idea to bring your social security card, as well as the social security cards of your spouse and any dependents, when you are having your taxes prepared. This will help your tax preparer ensure that the social security numbers included on your tax return exactly match the number printed on the Social Security cards.
Documentation of Items You Have Paid For During the Year
If you want to maximize your deductions, make sure to bring the documents that show what you have paid in mortgage interest (form 1098), student loan interest (form 1098-E), and tuition (form 1098-T) for the tax year. Look for these documents in the mail, as your mortgage lender, student loan lender, and educational institution will send them to you.
Records of Expenses
In addition to official tax documents that will be sent to you, don't forget to bring records and receipts of your health care expenses, contributions to any retirement accounts, donations made to charity, self employment income and expenses, and dependent child care expenses. If you are going to claim child care expenses, you will also need to provide your tax preparer with the Social Security number or employer identification number of the person or company providing child care.
If you are owed a tax refund, you can provide your tax preparer with bank account information so the IRS can automatically deposit the funds in your bank account. If you are in a situation where you owe taxes, you will need to provide your tax preparer with information about the account you would like to use to pay your tax liability.
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