Getting Organized for 2014 Tax Filing

Dr. Owusu A. Kizito, EA/MBA/EA ( Tax Expert)

Now that the tax laws for 2014 have been put to bed, it is time to start gathering your tax records for 2014 and taking steps to get your tax house in order for 2015. Here are some ideas to help you.
Look for your tax forms. W-2s, 1099s, 1098s and the new 1095-A’s will start hitting your mailbox. Look for them and get them organized. Create a checklist of the forms to make sure none is missing. If you used the new Affordable Care insurance exchange to purchase your health insurance you will also be receiving a new 1095-A form that recaps this activity.
It is all in a name. If you were recently married or had a name change, file your taxes using the correct name. File the name change with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible, but be aware of the timing with a potential name conflict with the IRS. Any name mis-match could cause a rejection from the IRS and create an audit trigger.
Collect your receipts and sort them. Using last year’s tax return, begin to gather and sort your necessary tax records. Sort your tax records to match the items on your tax return. Here is a list of the more common tax records in no particular order:
• Informational tax forms (W-2, 1099, 1098, 1095-A, plus others) that disclose wages, interest income, dividends, and capitalgain/loss activity
• Other forms that disclose possible income (jury duty, unemployment, IRA distributions and similar items)
• Business K-1 forms
• Social Security records
• Mortgage interest statements
• Tuition paid statements
• Property tax statements
• Mileage log(s) for business moving, medical, and charitable driving
• Medical, dental and vision expenses
• Business expenses
• Records of any asset purchases and sales
• Health insurance records (including Medicare and Medicaid)
• Charitable receipts and documentation
• Bank and investment statements
• Credit card statements
• Records of any out of state purchases that may require use tax
• Records of any estimated tax payments
• Home sales records
• Educational expenses (including student loan interest expense)
• Casualty and theft loss documentation
• Moving expenses
• Contribution records

If you are not sure whether something is important for tax purposes, retain the documentation. It is better to save unnecessary documentation than to later wish you had the document to support your deduction.
Clean up your auto log. You should have the necessary logs to support your qualified business miles, moving miles, medical miles and charitable miles driven by you. Gather the logs and make a quick review to ensure they are up to date and totaled.
Review and update your withholdings. Make a quick review of your W-2 and decide if now is the time to have your employer update your withholding amounts. A second check might be in order after you file your taxes.
Coordinate your deductions. If you and someone else may share a dependent, confirm you are both on the same page as to who will claim the dependent. This is true for single taxpayers, divorced taxpayers, taxpayers with elderly parents/grandparents, and parents with older children.
Review your other information. Do not just focus on tax related items. Review other parts of your financial life for possible organization and updates. This includes insurance, investments, legal documents, safety plans, identity theft protection, credit scores, retirement planning, retirement account contributions and your home’s annual budget.
Dr. Kizito the President and CEO of Investigroup Companies and a Tax Expert holds an MBA from Hawaii Pacific University and postgraduate law certifications from Harvard University. Dr. Kizito can be reached directly on (908) 977-7320 or email him at okizito@investigroup.org. Follow him on twitter for updates @okizito1.
Office Address: 3915 Main Street #202 Flushing NY 11355

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Posted by on Jan 12 2015. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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