What Do You Need To File Taxes?
The calendar has changed to a new year, which means it’s time to start thinking about filing your personal income taxes. Whether you plan on visiting World Finance, hire a tax preparer or file your taxes yourself, there is no need to wait. You can begin gathering the information you’ll need to file your 2017 taxes now. The sooner you start, the more prepared you’ll be. Make sure that you add these items to your checklist when preparing to file taxes:
If you and your spouse are employed, each of your employers must send you a Form W-2 by January 31, 2018. This is the form that shows how much money you made, how much tax you have already paid, whether or not you have a qualified retirement program, and other employer-provided information. For some, this is the only document you need to file a tax return. For others, it is just a start.
If you are self-employed, or if you receive income from investments, you should receive a Form 1099 from each source of taxable income. 1099 income has been reported to the IRS. If you receive any 1099 forms, you’ll need to claim the income on your tax return.
If you do not plan to itemize on your taxes, and you usually complete the 1040 EZ tax form, then the above documents, along with the social security numbers for every member of your family, may be all you need to file.
Income Adjustments and Itemizations
If you have a mortgage on real estate, you moved within the last year to take a new job, you had large medical expenses, or you have education or child care expenses, you may be able to reduce your tax burden with credits and deductions. Gather these documents to get the most out of your tax deductions and tax credits:
• Mortgage Interest Statements (Form 1098)
• Mortgage Insurance Costs (Premiums are deductible)
• Property Tax Statements
• Medical Bills (Must add up to 7.5% of your Adjusted Gross Income to deduct)
• Automobile Registrations (Depends on state)
• State Tax Refund information
• College Expense Information (Form 8917, provided by the educational institution)
• Major Purchase Information (Did you buy a car and pay sales tax, for example?)
• Moving Expenses
• Receipts for Charitable Contributions
• Day Care Expenses
If you made charitable donations in 2017, you may be entitled to claim a charitable deduction when you file your taxes. You will need to itemize your deductions, so be sure to keep all receipts from your charitable contributions. Only donations that you made to qualified charitable organizations are deductible, so be sure and ask if you’re unsure. Some qualified organizations include churches and donations to Goodwill.
The best way to prepare for tax season is to gather everything you think you will need before you get started. Start now by putting everything in one file folder or large envelope, and you’ll be ready to file as soon as your W-2s and other tax documents arrive. If you have any questions about your federal income tax return, what you need for your refund, or would like to speak to a tax preparation specialist, contact World Finance today.