PREPARING FOR YOUR TAX APPOINTMENT

Make sure to have all your documents

Nothing makes a tax preparer happier than a prepared client. Here are a few tips for going to your tax appointment with everything you need.

Look at last year’s tax return for income and expense reminders. Make sure you have all the 1099s from your bank reporting your interest and dividend income. If you opened new bank accounts, make sure you have those statements as well.

Gather all your W-2s for both you and your spouse if married. If you have income from other sources, such as an S corporation, partnership, estate or trust, make sure you have all your K-1s.

Do you claim dependents? Each dependent must have a Social Security number. Bring those documents with you so your preparer has the correct information. Incorrect Social Security numbers delay processing of your return. If you are entitled to the earned income tax credit, you will have to provide proof that your dependents are really yours to claim. School or medical records will help substantiate that your dependents live with you.

If you don’t itemize your deductions, there isn’t much in the way of expenses to deduct. The standard deduction covers all expenses except for cash contributions to a charity. You can claim up to $300 without itemizing. Otherwise, make sure you have your mortgage interest statement, property tax bill and an itemized list of medical expenses and charitable contributions.