3 Essential Types Of Documents To Provide Your Tax Accountant
For most people, few things generate more stress than completing yearly taxes. Luckily, that’s what tax accountants are for–to shoulder the burden of that stress. But in order for a tax accountant to do the best job, they’re going to need the right information. If you are planning to have a tax accountant handle your taxes this year, read on. This article will outline three types of documents you should be sure to give them.
1. Income documents
First and foremost, your accountant is going to need to know how much you made last year. The most common such document is the W-2 form. This details not only the amount of your income, but the amount of deductions that were taken out of it.
Just as important as the W-2, however, are the various 1099 forms. Because not everybody has to deal with these forms, fewer people are aware of them. Some of the most common 1099 forms include:
- 1099-MISC – used to report money earned through self-employment or as an independent contractor
- 1099-INT – used to report income from interest and dividends
- 1099-B – used to report brokerage income from stocks and bonds
- 1099-S – used to report real estate income
2. Expense documents
Here’s where that shoe box bulging with business-related receipts comes in. But when it comes to expense documents, there are much more than just those.
For instance, it is now common to receive many receipts and invoices in a purely digital form. Plan on trawling through your inbox to hunt these down. (Hint: search for emails with attachments, as such receipts are often sent as pdfs.)
In addition, you’ll want to track down proof of the following:
- job-related education expenses
- medical expenses
- charitable contributions
- child care costs
- interest paid on your mortgage
- any other types of interest paid
3. Proof of loss (if applicable)
If your business or home suffered some sort of loss during the year–say through a fire, a flood, or a theft–you may not have access to all of the relevant documents. Believe it or not, the IRS is actually somewhat understanding of this. In many cases, you may even be eligible to apply for special tax deductions.
In order to do this, however, you will need to provide your tax accountant with as much relevant information as you can. This extends to such documents as:
- disaster-related receipts
- insurance claim reports
A good tax accountant can save you not only time and stress, but money as well. Remember, though, that it is up to you to provide them with the information they need. The more documents you provide, the more they may be able to save you. The three classes of documents discussed above should provide a good place to start.