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The following information is needed to complete your personal return:

At the begining of a new year is a good time to begin assembling the materials you will need in order to be ready for the filing season. Here are a few tips to help this annual task go more smoothly.

  • January 31. This is the due date for most forms to be in the mail to you. Keep the following forms in a safe place until your appointment time.
  • W-2 forms. Be sure to have one for each job you worked during the tax year. If you had more than one employer be sure you have all forms. If your form doesn’t arrive by the first week in February, call the employer to inquire as to the status. If you have attempted to reach your former employer without success, after February 15, we can submit your tax return using your last pay stub.
  • Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV. Banks, brokerage firms, mutual funds, and individual companies are among those who will issue forms to report income to you. All forms should be brought to the office .
  • Other 1099 Forms. Real estate sales are reported on form 1099-S; stock sales are shown on form 1099-B, and Social Security is on a form 1099-SSA. Pension and IRA distributions are reported on form 1099-R. In addition you may receive 1099 forms for unemployment compensation, state or local tax returns, and gambling and lottery winnings.
  • Forms K-1 for Estates/Trusts, Partnerships, S-Corporations. There is no requirement that these forms be sent to you by the end of January. However if you are a beneficiary of an estate or trust or a partner or shareholder in a business, these forms are important in the preparation of your tax return. If you don’t have these forms by the end of February, please call the responsible person for the entity and inquire as to when you can expect to receive the information.
  • Did you refinance your mortgage or buy a new house. Be sure to bring the settlement or escrow statements so that applicable deductions can be determined.
  • Stock Sales or Mutual Fund Sales. If you sold stock or mutual fund shares, you will need to identify the original cost. Thus, you’ll need to bring historical information with you. Often your stockbroker’s firm or the firm controlling the mutual fund will provide the information to you in their annual report on your investments.
  • Estimated Tax Payments. For those who have made estimated tax payments, look up the actual date paid and the amount for each quarter.
  • Change of Address. If there are any changes to your address or phone numbers be sure to provide that new information.
  • New Clients. If you are a new client, bring a copy of your prior years return.
  • Claiming Child Care. If you are claiming childcare, you must submit the name, address and tax reporting number as well as the child’s name and the amount paid for each provider. Childcare deductions are allowed for children under 13 years of age.
  • Itemized Deductions. Deductions are itemized when they are greater than the allowed standard deduction. Generally to itemize you must have a reasonably large home mortgage, large medical expenses or large charitable contributions. If you are in doubt, bring the necessary information and a determination will be made when preparing your taxes. To itemize the following information is required:
    • Medical Expenses. Including cost of doctor, dentist, hospital expenses, medical equipment, prescription drugs. Cost of medical insurance. Do not include medical expenses that were paid by an insurance company or other sources. Mileage to procure the above medical services.
    • Taxes. All state tax paid during the year. Personal Property Tax on cars, boats, boat motors, boat trailer etc. Real estate taxes on properties owned
    • Interest. Interest paid on home mortgage. Remember that mortgage interest can be deducted on a second home as well as your primary home.
    • Casualty and Theft Losses. Date of casualty or theft. Fair market value and bases (bases is generally the price paid for the item) for each item loss or stolen. Insurance payments received.
    • Contributions. Money or property given to a qualified charitable organization. Remember, if a contribution of $250 or greater is made in any one day to one organization, there must be a written substantiation from that organization. When total properties exceed $501 more detailed information is required such as fair market value of items and method of valuing the property. When properties exceed $5,000, an appraisal is generally required.
    • Job Expenses and Other Miscellaneous Deductions. Unreimbursed employee expenses such as, travel expenses, union or professional dues, continuing professional education, job hunting cost, business transportation cost, etc. Tax return fees, occupational licensing fees, subscriptions to professional magazines, expenses related to investments, depreciation on equipment used for you job, etc.


The following information is needed to complete your business return:

  • Gross Receipts and Sales. It is necessary to determine the total income created by the business during the tax year. If all income were deposited in the business checking account then it would be equal to the total deposits. Be sure to identify any personal investments made to the company and deposited into the business account. This is not income but rather owner equity. For partnerships and S-corporations total income is only trade or business income. Tax–exempt income, portfolio income (such as interest or capital gains), rental income and rental activity income, must be reported separately.
  • Cost of Goods Sold. Must be determined for those businesses that carry an inventory. Inventory includes articles held for sale to customers in the regular course of business. The cost of goods sold during the year is determined by adding the inventory at the beginning of the year with the purchases during the year, and subtracting from this sum the inventory at the close of the year. Thus it is important for a business that has an inventory to complete an end of year inventory to accurately identify cost of goods sold.
  • Expenses. Business expenses should be broken down into one of the following categories; advertising, car and truck expenses (discussed in detail below), commissions and fees, employee benefit programs, insurance (other than health), interest on business loans, legal and professional services, office expenses, rent and lease, repairs and maintenance, supplies, taxes and licenses, travel, meals and entertainment, utilities, wages and other expenses.
  • Car and Truck Expenses. If you operate only one car or truck at any one time in connection with your business you can elect to use the standard mileage rate rather than actual expenses. To use the standard mileage rate, a written record of business mileage must be maintained. This record should indicate, the date, location, business reason for the trip and mileage. In addition to the business mileage the tax return requires the total commuting mileage and total mileage that the truck or car was used during the year. For those that have an Office in Home there is no commuting mileage. If using actual expenses don’t forget to identify all expenses such as gas, oil, insurance, lease payments, license fee and repairs. If a car or truck was leased or bought during the tax year, all papers relating to those transactions will be needed to properly prepare your return if business use of the car or truck is claimed.
  • Business Assests. Any personal property or real estate bought during 2002 for use in the business, with a life expectancy of more than one year must be identified. These items must be depreciated or expensed under section 179.
  • Providing Tax Information. Many clients are now using QuickBooks or Pro-Pro computer program for their business. To provide much of the information necessary to prepare the business tax return go to the File in the menu bar. Under File is accountant’s review. In the menu under accountant’s review is, create accountant’s copy. By double clicking and following directions a record copy of the business account can be transferred to a disk. From the disk I can enter the data into my computer. Please put the name of the business and date on the disk. This provides significant help in obtaining necessary data to complete your business tax return. If not using a computer program make the necessary calculations and then forward the calculations along with cancelled checks and bank statements for the tax year.
  • Due Date for Business Tax Returns. For Corporations, the tax return is due 15 March. All other business tax returns are due by 15, April. It is always a good practice to start business returns as early as possible. After getting the Bank statement in January and reconciling your account the tax process can be started. An early start allows time for resolution of any problems. Remember, that no matter when the tax return is done, taxes are not due before April 15 .
  • Business Use of Home. To qualify for a business use of home, the space must be used exclusively and regularly for your business. The space must be your principal place of business or the space in which you do your administrative or managerial activities. Also it can be a space that you use for storage of inventory or product samples.To calculate the proper deduction the area of the home and the total area of the business space must be determined. The following home expenses must be provided, real estate taxes, deductible mortgage interest, casualty losses, insurance, rent, repairs, utilities, services, and cost of the house.
  • Tax Forms. We did receive a small number of W-2s, W-3s and 1099s from the IRS. If you need only a few forms, we may be able to help you.
  • Limited Liability Company. Each Limited Liability Company is required to send an Annual Report to the Secretary Of State by the 15 day of the third month after the close of their tax year. That means for most of us, March 15 th. Again we will stock copies of this report.

IRS Resources

  • Business Income ( pdf )
  • IRS Resources ( pdf )
  • IRS Resources for Small Business Owners ( pdf )
  • Record Keeping ( pdf )

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