Staying Organized in Tax Season
It’s easy to get inundated with documents during tax season. You can receive documents from many different organizations, including employers, financial institutions and others. Many documents are now also being sent via e-mail, which increases the likelihood it could get lost in your inbox. As tax season is quickly approaching, here are some of the documents to be on the lookout for:
While W-2s are the most widespread and well-known tax form, it can be easy to lose track of W-2s if you or your spouse have multiple jobs. Keep track of each employer to ensure you receive the forms in time.
1099-INTs and 1099-DIVs
Most of us receive small interest or dividend payments throughout the year. These payments are reported on a Form 1099 and must be included on your Form 1040. Depending on the type of investments, there could be numerous 1099s to report this interest and dividend income. Make a list from last year’s tax return to help keep track of these 1099s as they arrive via mail or e-mail.
Form 1099-R is used when a distribution is made from a pension or retirement account. You could receive a 1099-R if your employer was part of a recent merger, and the company which was acquired rolled its retirement funds into the new company’s plan. You could also receive a 1099-R if you get a new job and you roll your existing retirement funds into your new company’s plan.
Different versions of Form 1095 are sent to you recapping your health insurance. While the penalty for not having proper health insurance is suspended for 2019, the form may still be important. So look for it and retain it with your other records.
You will also need documents that confirm and support any deductions you plan to take. For instance, you may need documentation to claim deductions for day care expenses, educational expenses (form 1098-T), mortgage interest documentation (form 1098), proof of medical, dental and vision care, charitable contributions, business records, property taxes, state taxes and much more.
It is best to use last year’s tax return PLUS a tax organizer to ensure you have all the proper records needed to accurately prepare your tax return. The organizer is especially helpful as there are a list of questions to help you jog your memory to recall certain events that have taken place over the past year that might have a tax consequence. If in doubt, save the documentation, proof of payment and any receipts!
For illustrative purposes only. Should not be considered legal or tax advice and the information provided herein is general in nature. Consult with an attorney or a tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.
Written By Rachel Gorretta