News 8 is putting You First with a Tax Hotline Monday afternoon from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. during our evening newscasts.
Local tax experts from the New York State Society of CPAs will be in studio to take your calls and answer your tax-related questions.
CPA Scott Adair is one of the tax experts who will help answer your questions. Monday morning on News 8 at Sunrise he also discussed the documents you need to successfully file your tax return.
“Primarily what you want to focus on is making sure that you bring in your income items, your expense items,” said Adair. “A driver’s license is a big deal this year for being able to file online, and anything else that you might think of – last year’s tax return, health insurance information, things like that will help the preparer actually be able to assemble all of the tax returns that are needed for your filing.”
If you choose to file your own return you will also need this documentation.
Adair specified the type of income forms you’ll need. “So primarily you’re looking at your W-2, any of your 1099’s, whether it’s miscellaneous income, or interest and dividend 1099’s, things like that that you get from the banks,” he said. Adair also addressed additional income. “Some things to look at there, you may have some documentation such as spreadsheets, or receipts that you’ve gotten in from it, but the big one I think to focus on is maybe even bank statements from that perspective.”
Expenses are also an important consideration for your tax return. “The expenses are the real challenging one,” Adair said. “Make sure that you have canceled checks and any receipts that you receive. You know, all of the expenses that we write off, things like charitable contributions, medical expenses, college expenses, daycare expenses, all of those things need to be supported by something that provides the preparer, or the IRS if they’re to audit you, information to be able to support the deduction.”
Some people will not receive the necessary documents. Adair addressed what to do in that situation. “If you don’t get the documents sent to you, the first thing to do, like for a W-2, is to go back to your employer, previous or current, and ask them to provide an additional copy,” he said. “You can do the same thing with the banks, or anyone else that’s supposed to be providing you with a 1099. Another big item is to check online as well, because a lot of employers, because a lot of employers, and a lot of banks provide that information online now as well.”
Adair added, “You certainly can get the documents on your own. One of the things that you can do is, the IRS website is pretty well versed on these things. You can get a copy, or what they refer to as a transcript, of your previous returns from prior years. You can actually file via fax, or mailing in a form 4506-T, or you can have your tax preparer, your CPA actually file for you to get a copy of your old returns.”
For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here.