February 4, 2015 ~ Nicole Odeh
Remember Joe from our last post? Now that he knows some basics he is ready to go to his accountant, right? Well, maybe!
Tax season officially opens on January 20, 2015 for the 2014 filing season. However, employers are not required to send W2’s and 1099’s until January 31. I know you want to file quickly, but be sure you have all your documents the first time – you do not want to have to go back to amend your return if you do not need to.
There are many excellent checklists out there, but here are the highlights of some forms you need to file. Remember, if you receive a form it is probably reported to the IRS as well, make sure you get the form to avoid any notices
*Hint- 1099’s are for money you received and 1098’s are for money you paid!
A quick tip from my tax prep experience in the last few years -if you expect to receive a 1099-DIV, I would recommend waiting until the end of February or even March to file. It has been my experience that many recipients will receive a Corrected form and if you already filed you will need to go back to your accountant and file an amendment.
Another tip – although you may pay your mortgage on time every month, you make your student loan payments, and you took only took one distribution from your 401K, remember that there is person on the other end of your transaction processing everything. While I am sure it is not likely, you should have an idea of what you actually paid and received. This helps ensure your end of year forms are accurate.
OK, so in addition to his W2 for his $50,000 salary, “Joe” looks at his last year’s tax return and remembers that he has a savings account that pays interest and paid on a student loan. He downloads his W2 from his employer’s payroll website and gets his 1099-INT and 1098-E in the mail. He is ready to file! He brings all his paperwork (along with his ID, social security card and checking account information for direct deposit information) to his accountant to get his part of the billions overpaid to the IRS every year.
His neighbor, Mary, though, she has a small direct sales business – what does she need to do? Stay tuned for part three!