What Should I Bring to My Tax Appointment?

 

Below is a list of the most common items you should bring to your tax appointment. Each individual's tax situation is different and some items below may NOT apply to you.

  • New Beginning with tax year 2014, you MUST now report information on your federal income tax return about health insurance coverage for yourself, your spouse (if married filing jointly) and your dependents (if any). If there was a gap in insurance for any person shown on your income tax return for more than two months, you may have to pay a tax penalty (See C & D below).

    1. If you enrolled in health insurance through the federal government's Health Insurance Marketplace (Healthcare.gov) OR a State Exchange, you MUST bring in Form(s) 1095-A. You CANNOT file your income tax return without this form! NOTE: If you are claiming a person on your tax return, such as a child, and someone else obtained the health insurance through the Marketplace or State Exchange for that person, you will need to obtain the Form 1095-A from that person in order to prepare your tax return.

    2. If you had employer-provided insurance (including COBRA and retiree coverage) OR you purchased coverage directly from an insurance company OR had coverage through a government sponsored program such as Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE for Life, Veterans' health care, or the Peace Corps Volunteers Health Plan, we will need to know which full and/or partial months you, your spouse (if married filing jointly) and your dependents (if any) had minimum essential health care coverage during calendar year 2014. Your employer(s) and/or insurance companies may provide you with Form(s) 1095-B and Form(s) 1095-C. These forms are OPTIONAL for year 2014 and may not be provided to you.

    3. If you, your spouse (if married filing jointly) and/or your dependents (if any) were uninsured, which means did NOT have minimum essential health care coverage for one or more FULL months during year 2014 AND you plan to claim certain exemptions and/or hardships for not having coverage in order to minimize or eliminate any tax penalty, you MAY need to file an application with the Marketplace (Department of Health and Human Services) BEFORE you can file your tax return! The application can ONLY be filed by mail. Be sure to mail your application as soon as possible because processing can take several weeks. If your application is accepted, you will be issued an Exemption Certificate Number (ECN) which MUST be included on your tax return. Be sure to list each person on the application for which the exemption or hardship applies, since generally a separate ECN will be issued for each person! The ECN will either apply to the full year OR specific month(s) of the year. If you are claiming a health coverage exemption for a person on your tax return and are NOT required to file an application with the Marketplace, then we will need to know which months of the year the person qualifies for the exemption so it can be claimed directly on your tax return.

    4. If you, your spouse (if married filing jointly) and/or your dependents (if any) were uninsured, which means did NOT have minimum essential health care coverage for one or more FULL months during year 2014 AND you do NOT qualify for any exemptions or hardships, we will need to know which FULL months each person shown on your income tax return did NOT have qualifying health coverage. In addition, if any of your dependents are filing a separate tax return, you MUST bring in a copy of their tax return since their income MAY be needed solely for the purpose of calculating any tax penalty for not having health coverage. The penalty is based on household income and includes the income of dependents who are REQUIRED to file a federal income tax return.

  • Social Security cards for you, spouse and dependents. We also need birth dates for everyone being listed on the tax return. If the person does not have a Social Security number, then we will need an ITIN (IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) for that person which would either appear on an ITIN Card or ITIN Authorization Letter. (Returning clients do NOT need to bring this information for anyone shown on last year’s tax return unless there is a change)

  • If you are claiming a qualifying child who lived with you in the United States for more than half the year (greater than 6 months - at least 183 nights for calendar year 2014) who was under age 19 on December 31st OR under age 24 and was a full-time student for at least some part of any five calendar months OR any age and was totally and permanently disabled at any time during the year, we recommend you bring in at least ONE of the following documents if you believe you may qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

  • Copies of your federal and state tax returns for the past three years (2011 through 2013), if we didn’t prepare them

  • A non-expired government issued Photo ID, such as a state issued driver's license, state issued identification card, Military ID, U.S. Passport, or Resident Alien ID card

  • For direct deposit of your tax refund or direct debit of your tax payment, please bring a check if using a checking account, or routing transit number (RTN) and account number if using a savings account

  • Sample Check

  • ALL W-2's, 1098's, 1099's, plus a list of any other gross income including nontaxable income for which you did NOT receive a tax document

  • Schedule K-1's received from S-corporations, partnerships, estates, and/or trusts

  • Winnings - gambling, lottery, prizes, awards, etc. (gambling winnings may be shown on Form W-2G and prizes and awards may be shown on Form 1099-MISC)

  • Alimony amounts received/paid (if paid, need ex-spouse’s Social Security number)

  • Receipts for certain energy efficient home improvements such as exterior windows, exterior doors, skylights, insulation, certain asphalt and metal roofs, central air conditioners, gas, oil, and propane water heaters, electric heat pumps, biomass stoves, solar electric, solar water heating, wind energy systems, and geothermal heat pumps. For energy efficiency specifications that qualify for a tax credit, click here

  • Records showing CONTRIBUTIONS made to Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). If an early DISTRIBUTION is made from a Roth IRA, we need to know about your contributions and distributions for ALL prior years. If a DISTRIBUTION is made from an HSA and you did NOT use the entire amount for qualified unreimbursed medical expenses, we will need to know the amount that was used for nonqualified expenses. For HSA distributions, we will need Form 1099-SA

  • If you sold capital assets such as real estate, stocks, or mutual funds, we will need to know about your cost or other basis and date of purchase, inheritance, or gift. For stocks and mutual funds, we will need Form(s) 1099-B. For sale of real estate, you may receive Form 1099-S. If you have many stock or mutual fund sales, please download a "Stock & Mutual Fund Transactions" spreadsheet

  • For child and dependent care expenses, we will need the amount paid along with the name, complete address, and federal tax identification number (EIN) of the provider (Social Security number, if the provider is a person). You may use Form W-10 to obtain the provider's information

  • Itemized deductions – Medical expenses – health insurance premiums, physicians, hospitals, prescriptions, co-pays, eye exams/glasses, home improvements done for medical reasons, and mileage driven for medical purposes, real estate taxes, sales tax, state income tax, mortgage interest and points (Form 1098), mortgage insurance premiums (PMI), investment interest, charitable contributions, casualty and theft losses, tax preparation fees, job related expenses you were not reimbursed for, such as travel, supplies, education, tools, uniforms, dues, etc. Job hunting expenses such as resumes, travel, phone charges, and employment agency fees. You may download occupational deduction worksheets. Expenses for safe deposit boxes, investment management fees, investment advice, and investment-related publications. Gambling losses (only up to the amount of your gambling winnings)

  • Last paystub for each job you had during the year so we can see deductions such as union dues and reimbursements such as mileage

  • Moving expenses (only if your new workplace is at least 50 miles further from your old home than your previous workplace was from your old home)

  • Amounts paid for post-secondary education, such as college tuition, books, supplies and equipment for you, spouse and/or your dependents. Please bring in the 2014 Form 1098-T that is given to the student by the educational institution. Sometimes the student may have to login to their educational institution's online student portal to view and print the Form 1098-T. NOTE: If the student was billed for tuition at the end of 2013 and it was not paid to the institution until early 2014, please bring in a copy of the 2013 Form 1098-T for that student. For information on how to access Form 1098-T online at some educational institutions in Central Florida, click here. We highly suggest you get a "Financial Transcript" from the educational institution showing all payments (including student loan) payments they received for tuition and fees during year 2014

  • If you are a sole proprietor / self-employed / independent contractor / subcontractor / Form 1099-MISC Box 7, we will need to know the gross amount of income and your expenses separated into different expense categories. If you acquired any assets that have a useful life of greater than 1 year, they might need to be depreciated. We will need a description of the asset, date placed in service for business purposes, cost, and business use percentage. If you accept credit cards and/or receive payments from a third-party payment network such as PayPal® or Google Checkout®, you may receive a Form 1099-K showing amounts paid to you. You may download a "Business Income and Expense Worksheet"

  • Rental properties – we will need to know about your rental income and rental expenses separated into different expense categories, property purchase information which may be shown on a Settlement Statement (HUD-1), and depreciation claimed on the property in prior years. You may download a "Rental Income and Expense Worksheet"

  • Records showing amounts and dates of any "estimated tax" payments you sent to the IRS and/or state tax agencies

  • Information on any foreign financial accounts, foreign trusts, or other foreign assets you had during the year

  • Divorce papers (if applicable)

  • If a spouse or dependent is deceased, please bring in a copy of the death certificate

  • If you are the noncustodial parent AND you are claiming your child as a dependent and you were never married OR your divorce took place AFTER December 31, 2008, we will need a completed Form 8332 from the custodial parent

  • If you adopted a child, please contact us for the exact documents that we will need. The required documents are different for domestic and foreign adoptions

  • If you purchased or refinanced any real estate, please bring in the Settlement Statement (HUD-1)

  • If you had a foreclosure on your property, please bring in Form 1099-A from the lender

  • If you had a short sale on your property and the lender has forgiven all or part of the debt, please bring in Form 1099-C from the lender. Also bring in Forms 1099-C for any other debt forgiveness (such as credit card or auto loan)

  • If you are an identity theft victim and have notified the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, please bring in the IRS notice or letter showing your unique Identity Protection PIN. Each year (usually in December) the IRS will mail you Notice CP01A (or Letters 4868CS or 4869CS) which will contain a unique single-use 6-digit Identity Protection PIN for you to use to file your current year tax return

  • Please bring in any other information you think we may need to prepare your tax return(s) accurately