2017 Tax Prep Checklist

2017 Tax Prep Checklist

The 2017 tax season is upon us. Here is a 2017 tax prep checklist to guide you through this stressful time.

Personal Information –
  • Make sure you have your social security number and the social security numbers of all dependents. This includes your spouse, children, and any other family members (such as elderly parents) in your care. If state law requires you to file using a tax ID number, have that available as well.
  • It’s also useful to have a copy of last year’s state and federal tax returns. Although this is not completely necessary to file, it is handy to use as a reference when preparing this year’s return.
Income Documentation –
  • W-2. You should receive a W-2 form if taxes are deducted directly from your paycheck. State law requires employers to mail out W-2 form by January 31. If you haven’t received yours yet, contact your employer immediately.
  • 1099. There are many different types of 1099 forms and each ends with a different suffix. For a complete list check the IRS official website.
Deductions –

Here are some common deductions that can used to reduce your taxable income. However, it’s always a good idea to contact a tax professional if you have any doubt about whether or not you can make a deduction.

  • Medical expenses. These are deductible if the amount exceeds more than 10% of your taxable income or 7.5% if you are over the age of 65.
  • Taxes. State and local taxes, property taxes, and real estate taxes are generally 100% deductible.
  • Charitable contributions. Cash and property donated to certain organizations are typically deductible. A examples of qualifying organizations include: Red Cross, Good Will, Salvation Army, YMCA, churches and most non-profit organizations.
  • Interest expenses. Although personal interest is generally not tax deductible, certain types of interest are. For example, mortgage interest for a first or second home can always be deducted. Additionally, interest paid on business and/or investments can be deducted to lower the amount of taxable income.
  • Casualty and theft losses. These types of unfortunate losses are usually deductible if they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, are not reimbursable by insurance, and each event exceeds $500.
  • Education expenses. Students can claim a deduction for tuition and school fees. In addition, interest paid on student loans may be deducted using form 1098-E.
Credits –
  • Family and dependents. A child and/or dependent credit is worth up to $1000 per dependent.
  • Healthcare expenses. In certain situations, money paid for healthcare premiums can offer you a tax credit.
  • Education. Lifetime Learning Credits and/or the American Opportunity Tax credit are examples of government programs that offer tax credits for students.
  • Homeowner. Mortgage interest can be used as a tax credit. The Residential Energy Efficient Property credit can also save money if your home has solar panels or other energy saving technology.

We hope you find this 2017 tax prep checklist helpful. Of course if you have any questions about filing your 2017 taxes, contact one of our certified tax professionals today.

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