Playoff season in the NFL is always action-packed. Add crazy weather, and things get even more interesting. Kansas City fans shivered their way through sub-zero temperatures — the 4th coldest game in NFL history — and the Bills/Steelers game was rescheduled thanks to a massive snowstorm and travel ban.
I know from watching these games that you have to be PREPARED to sit for 3-4 hours in that cold. If you don’t prepare, you won’t last — no matter how epic the plays — or you could end up in a worse situation.
Preparation is about more than survival, though. Preparation is also the key to getting things done efficiently and well. Now, here, I’m not talking about the weather. TAX preparation is on my mind because I’m a tax professional on the cusp of the filing season.
Speaking of which…
The IRS announced last week that tax forms will officially start to be received on January 29. And, thanks to a larger budget from the American Rescue Plan, they’ve been able to consistently improve and modernize things for you, which means they’re pushing the electronic route more strongly. (Note: Paper returns will take MUCH longer these days).
Now, you and every Jackson County taxpayer can view your tax records (amount owed, payment history, prior year adjusted gross income, and other tax records), make payments, and even double-check any authorization requests filed by your tax pro. All you have to do is log in to your online account.
Let me be straightforward: you know that you can file taxes yourself or use tax software. In a few uncomplicated cases, the software can work just fine (generally very simple returns – single filing status, one income, no assets).
But I’ve also seen where software poorly handled even simple cases. Because software isn’t inclined toward the individual user, they’re algorithmic. They rely on formulas. But your life and tax situation are complex, and the software doesn’t understand you.
Knowing my clients’ situations is at the top of my priority list. This kind of detailed knowledge and the understanding that comes with it ensures everything is properly handled and every legal deduction is taken (without errors).
If you want that kind of security, let’s get something scheduled right away:
And, to be prepared, let’s talk about what you’ll need for that tax filing…
Tax Appointment Musts for Jackson County Clients
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” -Pablo Picasso.
Filing your taxes on your own is not for the faint of heart. That’s even with the nice-looking software on the market and the expanding influence of AI — which purports to make it easy for you.
But that’s what I’m here for. Let my team make it *easy* for you.
Below is a list of what you will need during the tax preparation process. Not all of the items will apply to you — probably MOST will not. Nonetheless, it’s a helpful checklist.
Before you get overwhelmed: Yes, this is a long list — but the unfortunate reality of our tax code is that it’s not even comprehensive! These items will cover a majority of my clients. This is to ensure I can help you keep every dollar you can legally keep under the tax code.
But I’ll be your guide. That’s what I’m here for.
Even if, for some strange reason, you won’t be using our cost-effective services this year, feel free to use this list as a handy guide…
Social Security numbers (including your spouse, children, and other dependents)
Residential address(es) for 2023
Dates of birth
Type of dependent relationship
Last year’s or most recent federal and state tax returns (if we don’t have them on file)
Employment & Income (a whole lot of 1099s)
W-2 forms for 2023
“Payment Card and Third-Party Network Transactions” (1099-K – and you may get one of these no matter how little you made. Report the income.)
Tax refunds and unemployment compensation (Form 1099-G, “Certain Government Payments”)
Miscellaneous income, including rent, prizes, and awards (Form 1099-MISC & 1099-NEC)
Partnership, trust, and S-Corp income (K-1 – notorious for arriving late, but only because they don’t have to be out the door until February 15)
Social Security Benefit Statement (SSA-1099/1042S)
Distributions from profit-sharing or retirement plans; IRAs; annuities, pensions, insurance contracts, survivor income benefit plans; permanent and total disability payments under life insurance contracts; and charitable gift annuities, among others (1099-R)
Gambling winnings (W-2G)
State and local income tax refunds (1099-G)
Records for alimony received, jury duty pay, and any other tax credit information for 2023
Interest income (Forms 1099-INT & 1099-OID)
Dividend and distribution income (Form 1099-DIV)
Money from broker transactions (Form 1099-B)
Cryptocurrency sales (including coin-to-coin trades) – report of any cryptocurrency activities
Records for capital gains or losses
Health Insurance Information
Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
Form 1095-B, Health Coverage
Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage
Records of credits and/or advance payments received from the Premium Tax Credit (if claiming)
Mortgage interest, real estate taxes (Form 1098)
Second mortgage interest paid (if you don’t rent that property or rent it only under specific conditions – check with us)
Sale of your home or other real estate (Form 1099-S)
Settlement statement for any real estate purchased or sold during the year
Moving expenses (only if in active military and then under certain conditions)
Reimbursements for moving
Personal property tax information
Rent paid during tax year
Auto loans and leases if vehicle is used for business
Student loan interest paid (Form 1098-E)
Early withdrawal penalties on retirement funds, certificates of deposit CDs (1099-INT), and other fixed-time deposits
Records of gambling losses (if you plan to itemize deductions – any questions about that, check with us)
Gifts to charity (again, if you itemize deductions)
Health insurance information (the Form 1095 series – don’t need it for your federal return anymore but it is good to have among your records)
Education expenses (tuition and fees)
Medical savings accounts information (1099-SA)
Adoption expenses’ records
Unreimbursed expenses related to work (few folks can take this deduction)
Self-Employment (SE) Data
Records for estimated SE tax paid (probably quarterly) in 2023
SE retirement plan information (SIMPLE and SEP-IRAs, for instance)
Health insurance premium records
Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses, including rent/mortgage, utilities, equipment, and auto loans, and leases if you use the vehicle for business
Farm income records
Retirement plan(s) contributions
Medical expenses (you can deduct only the amount of your medical and dental expenses exceeding 7.5% of your entire adjusted gross income)
Tuition and higher-ed. (you may be eligible for one of a few education credits)
An important thing to understand is that we will guide you through the process and that even with all the changes that happen year after year, we’re on top of those changes and are working on each of our Jackson County client’s behalf, including you.
We’re here to help.
Mike Mead, EA, CTC