Tax season is right around the corner. Ideally, we should all be keeping detailed records throughout the year and neatly filing every statement and receipt. Sigh. (Note to self – set up a record keeping and filing system for 2015.) So pull out that box or file of receipts and lets get started.
The best place to begin is with your tax organizer, which we send you at the beginning of tax season – each one is individually printed just for you and is very helpful in gathering and organizing your documents. Then, go through page-by-page, filling in the blanks where required and gathering your documentation as you go. There’s no need to staple or interleave your back-up documents into the organizer, since we will just remove them. Simply stack them up and send them in (although paper-clipping like documents together is a nice touch). If you have questions or comments, just write them directly in the organizer.
For the most part, we really don’t need to see every bank statement, or every single receipt for expenses, however it is important that you keep them as back-up in case of an audit. Just be sure to send us your W-2s, K-1s, 1099’s, etc., year-end brokerage statements, property tax notices, and documents relating to the sale or purchase of real property.
In order to be deductible, medical expenses must be greater than 10% of AGI (Adjusted Gross Income). For now (through 2016), if you or your spouse is 65 or over, the threshold is 7.5%. Medic al bills paid with funds from your HSA or FSA are not deductible, but medical insurance premiums can be included. So if you think your medical expenses will clearly not reach those levels, there is no need to add them up. For more details, click here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Deducting-Medical-and-Dental-Expenses
Be very careful when documenting your charitable contributions. The requirements have become stricter over the past several years. Check out our previous blog, You and Your Charitable Contributions. Do you have Proper Documentation? for details.
Tempting as it may be, don’t put if off. The sooner we receive your tax information, the sooner you can relax and we can get to work doing what we do best.