Get Your Tax Stuff Together For 2017

2017 is almost over! That means it’s nearly time to close your books on this year, send out tax forms if you have to, and watch your postal mail for all of the tax forms that will start arriving in a few weeks! How do you get your 2017 tax stuff together?

Let’s check off some things that will make things easier for you as you wrap up this year:

What should I hang on to?

  • Receipts for deductible purchases OVER $75.00

  • Receipts for charitable contributions made –

    • If by check or cash and more than $500, you need how much and when and to whom

    • If not cash, you need the donation receipt AND a description of what was donated AND when you acquired/bought it for what sum of money

  • If you bought a car, major appliances, major work on your home - the invoice or bill of sale

  • Everything that comes in the mail that says “Important Tax Information (or document) enclosed”

  • Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 AND the year end mail from your health insurance carrier

  • If you have an HSA, the tax statement from that company

  • The 1099s from your investment firm or bank

  • Interest statements from your bank or mortgage company

  • Child care receipt showing the child care provider’s name, address, tax ID number and the total amount paid

  • Anything else that looks important or you’re uncertain about

  • Information about any new dependents

How do I get it to My Tax Guy in Houston?

  • most secure – the United States Post Office. Priority mail, flat rate envelope. Costs you five bucks. Address to: 2425 West Loop S Ste 200 Houston TX 77027

  • really, really secure – use our client portal. IRS compliant, HIPPA level security

  • pretty darned secure - drop it off at the office! Same address, free valet parking or validation. Also, you can fax to 713-714-2930

  • not secure anymore - Dropbox or Google Drive. We cannot accept files that come in this way.

  • not secure at all - email. We cannot accept files that come in by email at all.

Do I need to issue 1099s?

Probably not. UNLESS: you have been running a business, and you have people working for you to whom you’ve paid more than $600 (any one of them, not all of them together), then you need to issue 1099s. I can help you with that.

What about health insurance?

The financial penalties for not having health insurance are serious in 2017. If you had health insurance, you will receive a form 1095 from your health insurance company, employer or the marketplace. IN 2018, WE CANNOT PROCESS A TAX RETURN WITHOUT THESE FORMS. The IRS will electronically match your form 1095 information with what is reported on your tax return - and will reject mis-matches.

I always lose the stuff - what do I do?

Get your documents delivered to you online in PDF form. Most documents will come through without your social security number. Some will come through with password protection.

Make sure that your former employers, current employer, insurance companies, banks and credit card companies have your current, correct mailing address.

Ask me to send you one of my new, jumbo envelopes. It is labeled with all the documents and tax forms that you should hang on to. You see one of those, stuff it into the big envelope!

Personal TaxesGreg Melon