It’s March! Spring is in the air, the snow is melting, and most of our NCAA Tournament Brackets are in the trash. Now that we do not have to worry about that anymore, you can focus on your personal income taxes. April 15th … or 18th this year is only a few weeks away, and if you have not filed your personal taxes yet I am sure you will soon. If you want to be your tax accountant’s tax season MVP, do not forget to include these less common things in your tax information packet.
- Housing and Urban Development Statements or HUD Statements
Anytime you sell or buy your home, it is important to send this information along because there are itemized deductions, such as real estate taxes, listed on that statement that can help reduce your tax liability.
When you sell your home, we need the HUD statement from when you originally purchased your home to determine your basis in your property. Even though the IRS allows most of us to never have to pay any gain from the sale of our home, you are still required to report it.
- Estimated Tax Payments
If you made any estimated payments this year, you probably received the vouchers for them when you filed your return last year. However, tax preparers cannot assume that you made those estimated payments just because we told you to. Sending us a list of payments, canceled checks, or credit card receipts showing those payments is a huge help.
- Amended Brokerage Statements
This was probably last thing you were waiting for before you sent in your tax information. However, sometimes they get amended or corrected. If that happens, do not forget to send that along as well, because most likely something has changed that will impact your tax return.
- Non-cash Donations
Most of us send clothes to the Goodwill or Salvation Army in boxes or bags, and usually either forget to send in the donation receipts or just write 5 bags. However, you may be undercutting yourself when estimating how much your old stuff is really worth. Always make a list of everything you donate, and use the link below as a guide on prices.
You will not only protect yourself if you are ever audited, but this may also help lower your tax bill as well.
- Bank Account Info
The fastest way to receive your refund is to have it direct deposited into your bank account. However, it is always a good idea to double check your banking information before you send it in. With all the bank mergers and acquisitions going on, you may find that your bank account numbers have changed. Taking the extra two minutes to look at this can save you a lot of time and headache if your bank information has changed.
- Tax Notices, Tax Bills, and Account Adjustments
Hopefully you do not get these, and if you do, you sent it right away to your tax preparer. If you forgot or you misplaced it when it came in, do not forget to send it in. Even if it says “This is not a bill” or “No action required,” it is always a good idea to include these items because there may be important information in there that can impact your taxes.
If you send your tax preparer these items, as well as the normal documents, (W-2’s, 1099’s and Itemized Deductions), you and your accountant will be “cutting down the nets” in no time as you have successfully file your personal tax returns.