Action Line: How to organize your files for a tax preparer
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Friday, March 25, 2011
3/25/11 at 6:55 AM
Dear Action Line: Which documents do I need to round up for having my state and federal income taxes done by a preparer? - M.H., Tulsa
The Internal Revenue Service announced Jan. 4 that taxpayers have until April 18 to file their 2010 federal tax returns and pay any taxes due, as Emancipation Day is a holiday observed in the District of Columbia and falls on Friday, April 15. District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines the same as federal holidays, so federal taxpayers have three extra days to file. Oklahoma individual income tax returns may be e-filed as late as April 20, said Paula Ross, communications director of the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Return preparation documents: IRS spokesman David Stell said your "Form W-2 and Wage and Tax Statement" should have arrived from your employer by Jan. 31. File tax documents in file folders or an accordion file marked as follows.
Income: Put your W-2 in the "income" folder, as well as any 1099 forms for 2010 income (including contracting work and any miscellaneous income). You also received Form 1099-G from the Oklahoma Tax Commission for a refund of 2009 taxes withheld - possibly considered "taxable income" by the IRS (but only if you itemized deductions for 2009).
Mortgage interest: File your Form 1098 from your mortgage lender, which shows "mortgage interest" paid and also reports the property taxes your mortgage lender paid to the county treasurer (ad valorem taxes) as well as possibly deductible mortgage interest premiums.
Tax credits: File documents on new car, new home, energy improvements, educational expenses and day care fees paid.
2009 tax return: You're preparing your 2010 tax return, so search your 2009 tax return file for a copy of your 2009 return to place in your 2010 tax file, for the preparer's reference. If you paid a preparer last year to do your taxes or paid an online preparer by credit card, round up your receipt for that service as it could be deductible on 2010 taxes.
Interest and dividends: Your banks, credit unions and investment companies mailed you Form 1099-DIV and Form 1099-INT for accounts you received dividends or interest on or dividends from stocks or mutual funds.
Charitable contributions: Find your final 2010 pay stub that shows deductible United Way contributions taken each pay period. Your final 2010 natural gas bills show monthly gifts to Oklahoma Natural Gas Co.'s "Share the Warmth" program, and your electric bills show monthly gifts to American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma's "Light-a-Life" program. Find receipts for clothing or vehicle donations to charity.
Original Print Headline: Action Line: Organizing for tax preparation
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