As the tax-filing season begins there are many things you can do as a taxpayer to prepare yourself and your accountant for a stress-free year. Our 2021 Tax Filing Checklist is your guide to tax season. You are probably wondering, “where do I even begin?” We’ve laid out all you need to know and what you should be prepping for your accountant this year.
Preparing for Tax Filing Season
Gather Important Documents
Get organized by gathering all relevant or important documents. You may want to store these documents in one central location for easy access when meeting with your accountant. It is also a good idea to create a digital folder as many documents may come electronically such as W-2s and 1099s. Documents that you may need to file your taxes include:
- W-2s from employers
- 1099s from anyone who paid you a contract, or other miscellaneous funds
- Documents showing medical, educational, childcare, or other expenses
- Statements regarding investments or mortgage interest payments
- Receipts for deductible expenses or charitable donations
Gather Dependents Information
Put aside important documents for dependents you will be claiming on your tax returns. You will need their Social Security numbers. Determine if anyone else is planning to claim one of your dependents. Only one guardian can claim a child for the given tax year.
Double-Check Personal Info with your Employer and Other Businesses
Your employer is required to send you a W-2 by January 31st. It is important that you receive this document and keep it with your other important documents. Double-check that your employer has the correct address on file. It is also a good idea to check that your bank, IRA provider, dependent’s schools, etc. and business that may be sending you tax documents has the correct address. The sooner these documents are obtained the sooner you can file your taxes.
Renew Your ITIN
If you use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to file your taxes, you may need to renew it. Your ITIN will expire if you haven’t used it at least once in the past three years. If you need to renew your ITIN, you can send the renewal form in at the same time you send your tax return.
Set Up a Bank Account for Direct Deposit
If you would like to receive your tax refund quickly you can choose direct deposit when you file. Make sure you have a bank account set up so the funds can be directly deposited to.
Reconcile Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
If you have received advanced Child Tax Credit payments, you will need to compare the advance Child Tax Credit payments received to the amount you can claim on your 2021 tax return. If you have received less than the amount that you’re eligible for, you can claim a credit for the remainder on your 2021 tax return. In January 2022 you will receive a letter from the IRS. Letter 6419 will provide the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments you received in 2021. Keep this for your records as your accountant will need to reference them when filing your taxes.
Claim Recovery Rebate Credit
Individuals may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if they did not qualify for the third Economic Impact Payment. You will need to know the amount of the third Economic Impact Payment as well as any Plus-Up payments that you received. The IRS will send you a letter in early January 2022, this is Letter 6475, save this for your records as your accountant will need to reference it.
The Innovative CPA Group is here to assist you with your tax returns. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at 203-489-0629 or via our contact form.
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