It's that time of year many may be dreading: tax season. Whether a tax advisor prepares your taxes or you handle them yourself, it's always a good idea to organize the necessary documents beforehand. Use this checklist to determine what you'll need to prepare your taxes.
Employment and income records
. W-2 forms for each employer.
. Pension and annuity statements.
. Alimony received.
. Partnership and trust income.
. Scholarship and fellowship awards.
. State and local income tax files.
. K-1 forms on all partnerships.
. Receipts and documentation for business-related expenses.
. Form 1098 for mortgage interest.
. Form 1099-S if you've sold your home or other real estate.
. Second mortgage interest.
. Real estate taxes.
. Moving expenses.
. Interest income statements.
. Dividend income statements.
. Broker transaction proceeds.
. Tax refunds.
. Retirement plan distributions.
Financial liabilities and expenses
. Student loan interest.
. Medical savings accounts.
. Charitable donations.
. Adoption expenses.
. Alimony paid.
. Childcare expenses.
. Education expenses.
. Investment expenses.
. IRA, Keogh, SEP and other retirement plan contributions.
. Income from other sources, such as real estate, rentals, etc.
. Prior year tax return.
The common mistake many taxpayers make is to put off tax planning until the end of the year or right before tax filing.
If you haven't done so already, contact your financial advisor or CPA about the many benefits of year-round tax planning so April 15 won't seem as daunting in the future.
Marc P. Tomberg is branch manager at Raymond James Financial Services. His office is located in Ryanwood Square at 2140 58th Ave, Vero Beach. He may be reached by phone at (772) 778-4399.