Equus Advisors

Tax Preparing For 2017 Tax Season

Posted by  //  December 31, 2017  //  Local Business

By Peter Vanderwoude
Equus Advisors / Cortland Bookkeeping and Tax Service

Congress passed tax reform and now tax professionals have to dissect it for the changes that were not headlines, but that is for the 2018 tax year. Tax season is coming and the tax regulations are pretty much the same as what we experienced last year. Let’s go over some reminders to prepare for this tax season.

If you are a business owner or own rental property, don’t forget the 1099 reporting requirement. If you paid a contractor $600 or more during 2017 that 1099-MISC needs to be sent to the IRS by January 31. Other 1099’s get sent to the IRS by February 28. Try and navigate to this site to get help with your property.

Pretty soon you will get your W-2s, 1098 (mortgage interest), 1099’s and other tax reporting statements. Place them all in a folder as they arrive in your mailbox. As you wait to receive all your expected tax reporting documents, gather your real estate tax bills (if you’re a realtor, collate all data of the Homes for sale Plantation Bay Ormond Beach FL that you’ve ever listed), charitable donation receipts and medical/dental expenses if they exceed 10% (7.5% if you are age 65 or older) of your adjusted gross income–otherwise do not waste your time, and your business records and rental property records.

Ensuring meticulous record-keeping of all financial transactions, including those involving early distributions from retirement accounts such as IRAs or 401(k)s, is crucial for seamless tax preparation. Despite the diligence of your tax preparer, they may not automatically detect such one-time events. Thus, proactively notifying your tax professional about these distributions can preempt potential headaches down the road. It’s not uncommon for such transactions to be overlooked, or for individuals to mistakenly assume that withheld taxes negate the need for reporting. By staying vigilant and communicating effectively with your tax preparer, you can ensure comprehensive and accurate Tax Preparation.

If you are going to have a new tax firm prepare your taxes, make sure to bring at least last year’s tax return with you. Most tax firms prefer having copies of the last three years tax returns. Save a lot of tax by calculating tax Depreciation.

Since we have a major change to our tax code for 2018, you should consider asking your tax professional to guide you with an estimate of your tax picture for the new year.

Once you gathered all your tax documents, either scan them and send via a secure document exchange to your tax firm or get the hard copies to them. If you are going to make retirement or HSA contributions, make them prior to April 15 for the 2017 tax year and let your tax preparer know the amount.

Staying organized with your tax documents does not have to be difficult. As long as it is all in the folder you hand to your tax preparer, your tax return can be effectively prepared. If your tax professional can guide you on how tax reform will affect you for 2018, that will either put a smile on your face or remove some of the uncertainty of the changes coming for 2018.

Stay warm and Happy New Year!
Peter VanderWoude, CPA, CGMA

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