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Click on any item in the list (below) for a detailed explanation.
Social Security Card(s) (Taxpayer and Spouse)
If you have your Social Security card, bring it with you to your DeTax office when you have your taxes prepared.
Your Social Security Number (SSN) is printed on your Social Security card. You can apply for a SSN by completing Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. This form is available from the Social Security Administration (1-800-722-1213 or www.ssa.gov)
If you are changing your name (due to marriage, divorce, etc.), notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) so that you can obtain a new Social Security card.
Current Driver's License(s)
We will need a valid (non-expired) driver’s license to verify your identity. If you do not have a driver’s license, we can accept the following forms for identification: state-issued photo ID, military ID with photo, US passport, Resident Alien ID with photo, city-issued photo ID, or county-issued photo ID.
Dependents’ Social Security Cards and Dates of Birth
See Social Security Cards. Bring the Social Security Card and date of birth for each child. If you had a baby during the year, the hospital probably helped you apply for a Social Security card for your child. To E-file a return with the IRS, you must have a valid Social Security number for every person included on the tax return.
Last Year’s Federal and State Tax Returns
If you are not a prior DeTax client, please bring a copy of last year’s income tax return with you. Some information from the prior year’s return(s) could be helpful in calculating this year’s tax return.
Wage Statements – Form W-2
For employee income, you will receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers. If you have not received this form by the beginning of February, you will need to contact your employer. Employers are required to send W-2s by January 31.
For non-employee income (i.e., if you work as an independent contractor) that was $600 or more, a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous will be sent to you. As with Form W-2, Form 1099-MISC should be sent to you by January 31.
Bring all Wage Statements with you when you come in to have your income tax return prepared.
If you do not receive your W-2, DeTax can file your taxes from your final pay stub after February 15.
Alimony Paid or Received
If you paid alimony, it is deductible on your income taxes. If you received alimony, it is taxable income. Child support is neither deductible nor taxable.
If you paid alimony, you will need to bring the recipient’s Social Security Number.
Child Care Expenses and Provider Information
Do you have dependents under age 13? A disabled child of any age? A disabled spouse? Do you pay someone to provide care for them while you work, or search for work? You may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35% of your expenses. You will need to bring the provider’s name, address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This can be a Social Security Number (if the provider is an individual) or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If the provider is a church or non-profit group, and has no EIN, you can substitute the word “Tax Exempt” for the TIN. You will need to keep proof of payment receipts with your records. Just let your tax preparer know the total amount of expenses you paid during the year.
Medical, Eye Care and Dental Expenses
Do you itemize your deductions? If so, then medical, eye care, dental expenses and premiums paid for health insurance and mileage for your medical appointments may be deductible, if your total expenses for the year are greater than 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income (total income, minus federal adjustments allowed). Review these expenses with your preparer to determine whether you qualify for this deduction.
Charitable Contributions – Cash and Non-Cash
Have you made charitable contributions during the past year? Cash contributions to your church, Salvation Army, Goodwill and other charitable organizations can be deductible, if you itemize your deductions. Bring a record for contributions you made directly and through employer withholdings (such as United Way). You MUST keep the written acknowledgments from the charitable organization. Non-cash charitable donations (vehicles, clothing or real property), are valued at the fair market value. You should receive a written receipt or acknowledgment of these contributions from the charitable organization. Keep records of your contributions and provide your preparer with your contribution amounts at the time we prepare your income tax return.
Goodwill Industries International compiled a list of price ranges for items commonly sold in Goodwill® stores as an aide to taxpayers needing to determine the fair market value of donated goods. You can find the guide here: http://www.goodwill.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Donation_Valuation_Guide.pdf
Mortgage or Home Equity Loan Interest Paid – Form 1098
If you itemize your deductions, you may be able to deduct your qualified mortgage interest and/or home equity loan interest. Points may be deductible. You should receive Form 1098 by January 31, which shows the interest you paid in the previous year. If you do not receive this form, the information may be found on your mortgage bill. Bring Form 1098 (or mortgage bill) when you come in to have your taxes prepared. If you do not receive Form 1098, or the information is not on your mortgage invoice, call your mortgage holder directly.
Real Estate or Personal Property Taxes
If you itemize your deductions, you can deduct amounts paid for real estate and personal property taxes from your Adjusted Gross Income. Bring proof of tax payment in when you come to have your income taxes prepared. If your mortgage company pays real estate taxes for you from an escrow fund, they will send proof of this payment on Form 1098 by January 31. To get the amount paid for Personal Property Taxes, contact your taxing authority and ask them to give you the amount paid during the year.
Record of Purchase or Sale of Real Residence
You need to report the sale of your main residence only if you have a gain for which part of the gain is taxable. If you owned the home and lived in it as your primary residence for at least two years, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 if Married Filing Jointly) of the gain from your income. Bring in Form HUD-1, and records of receipts, copies of the sales documents and copies of original purchase documents, Form 1099S (if received) and receipts for property improvements to your DeTax office.
State or Local Taxes Paid
Do you itemize your deductions? If so, you may be able to deduct the state and local taxes paid. You will need to find out how much income tax you paid to the state and local municipalities during the year. This is typically listed on your W-2 or, if you pay estimates, your voucher slips. If not, you will need to contact your employer to find out how much was paid to the state and local municipalities.
Unreimbursed Employment-Related Expenses
Do you itemize your deductions? If you have necessary job expenses (required uniforms, protective clothing, employment agency fees, dues to professional organizations, etc.) for which your company did not reimburse you, you may be able to deduct these expenses. Keep records of your expenses and bring that information inyour DeTax office.
Job-Related Educational Expenses
Do you itemize your deductions? Job-related educational expenses may be deductible as long as the courses are necessary to maintain your job skills, but do not qualify you for a new job. Examples include: books, mileage, software and tuition. Make sure you keep written records of your mileage. Your job-related educational expenses may also qualify you for other tax benefits (Lifetime Learning Credit). Talk with your DeTax preparer to determine whether the deduction or the tax credit would be more beneficial to your situation.
Are you a teacher in grades K-12, an instructor, counselor, principal or aide who has logged at least 900 hours of work in school during the year? If so, you may deduct up to $250 of qualified expenses paid. And you may be able to deduct anything over the $250 Educator's Expense deduction as a charitable expense, if your school's principal has given you written permission to do so.
Did you incur moving expenses related to a job change? Don’t forget to contact your former employer to update your address. This will allow your W2 to reach you on time.
Pension or Retirement Income – Form 1099-R
Bring your Form(s) 1099-R (Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.) to your DeTax office when it is time to have your taxes prepared. The payer is required to mail this form to you by January 31.
Investment or Dividend Income statements - Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV
INTEREST INCOME: If you earned interest on any of your investment accounts during the prior year, you should receive Form 1099-INT (Interest Income) by January 31. If you do not receive that form, bring your year-end statements to your DeTax office so we can determine the amount to report.
DIVIDEND INCOME: If you received dividend income from stocks or funds during the prior year, each company or institution will send you a Form 1099-DIV by January 31. Bring these forms to your DeTax office and we will use them to calculate your gross income.
Tuition and Education Fees – Form 1098-T
Are you a student? Do you have a dependent who is a student? If so, you may be able to claim a tax deduction or elect one of the education tax credits for college tuition. Qualified tuition expenses are fees you pay to attend an eligible educational institution. Bring Form 1098-T, or a copy of your college tuition bill, to your DeTax office.
Student Loan Interest – Form 1098-E
Did you take out a student loan for yourself, your spouse or your dependent? You may be able to deduct the interest you paid. You should receive a Form 1098-E showing how much interest you paid during the year. Bring that form in to your DeTax office and ask how to get the most from these benefits.
Casualty or Theft Losses
Did you incur losses to your home, household items or vehicles and the losses exceeded insurance reimbursements? If so, you might be eligible to claim a casualty or theft loss.
Note: A casualty does not include normal wear and tear or progressive deterioration from age or termite damage. The damage must be caused by a sudden, unexpected, or unusual event (e.g. car accident, fire, earthquake, flood, vandalism). A theft is a taking and removing of property or money with the intent to deprive the owner of it. Lost or mislaid property is not considered a theft.
Estimated Taxes Paid in Previous Year
Are you self employed or paying quarterly estimated taxes? Review your form 1040-ES vouchers and any state vouchers and let DeTax know the amount you paid as well as the dates when you paid them. Your income tax preparer will make sure you receive credit for the payments made.
State Income Tax Refund Amount – Form 1099-G
Did you itemize deductions last year? Did you receive a state or local income tax refund, or have to pay income tax? If you answered yes, you may need to include your refund as income this year, or you may receive a credit for the amount paid. Form 1099G from your state or local government will be mailed to you by January 31 showing the amount of refund you received or payment you made. If you do not receive this form, contact your state office. If you are not a prior DeTax client, please bring in your previous year income tax return to help us in determining your state-related itemized deductions.
Social Security Income – Form SSA-1099
Did you receive Social Security payments? If so, some of these funds may be taxable income. The Social Security Administration should send you this information by the end of the year. Bring Form SSA-1099 to your DeTax office when you come in to have your income taxes prepared.
Unemployment Income – Form 1099-G
Did you receive state unemployment compensation? If so, it should be included as income on your return. The State should send you Form 1099-G by January 31. Contact your state office if you have not received your Form 1099-G.
COMMISSIONS RECEIVED: The full amounts of any commissions you receive are considered income. This is the case whether your commission is called a bonus or a percentage. It is also true whether it is based on both your sales and the sales of your “down-line,” or on purchases from your affiliated company. Bring records of all amounts received as commission to your DeTax office when you come to have your taxes prepared.
COMMISSIONS PAID: You may be able to deduct commissions and fees you paid for investment counsel and advice on purchases that produced taxable income. Bring all your information in to DeTax so we can help you get the maximum allowable deductions for your circumstances.
Sales of Stocks or Bonds – Form 1099-B
If you sold stocks or bonds, bring Form 1099-B to your DeTax office, along with any brokerage statements (showing dates bought and sold) and confirmation receipts (showing cost basis and fees paid), so we can get you the lowest tax rate available for your situation. We can also help you plan for next year!
Self-Employed Business/Farm Income and Expenses – Form 1099-MISC
Do you run a business as a sole proprietor or professional? If so, you are taxed on gross income minus expenses. Bring all your accounting records (this includes Form 1099-MISC) showing your income totals and expense items to your DeTax office.
Lottery or Gambling Winnings – Form W-2G
Did you win cash or prizes last year? If so, those winnings may be subject to income tax withholding. If you received gambling winnings of $600 or more, the payer should send you a Form W-2G. This form shows the amount you won and the amount withheld, if applicable. Bring this form to your DeTax office so we can use it to help calculate your gross income.
Lottery or Gambling Losses
Did you know that gambling losses could be deducted on your income tax return? Only up to the amount of your gambling winnings, though. You need to keep a written log that includes the date, location, type of gambling, amount of wager and your winnings and losses. Keep any supporting documentation, too. Bring the log to your DeTax office so we can properly claim your losses against your gambling winnings.
Income and Expenses from Rental Property
Do you own rental property? You will need to report as income any money received as rent. You can deduct certain expenses for your rental property (acquiring, maintaining, insuring and operating). Bring your accounting records to your DeTax office so we can properly allocate your income and expenses on your return.
Income from Partnerships, S Corporations, Trusts and Estates – Schedule K1
Income and deductions from these entities need to be included in your return. Bring your Schedule K-1 (or equivalent document) to your DeTax office for proper allocation.
If you made individual contributions to an IRA, you may be able to deduct up to $5,000. If you are age 50 or over, you might be able to deduct an additional $1,000. There are some limitations. You should keep any bank or plan administrator documents and receipts. If you have not made any IRA contributions, talk to your tax preparer about our IRA plan. Let your DeTax office know the amount of your IRA contribution.
Foreign Taxes Paid
Are you paying foreign income taxes on your interest or dividends? If so, these payments will be listed on your Form 1099-DIV or Form 1099-INT. For foreign taxes not reported on these forms, bring proof of payment to your DeTax office for proper allocation.