April 15, 2021 is the due date for filing your 2020 tax return or 2020 extension. It's not too early to start gathering documents that you will need to provide to your tax preparer during the first few months of 2020.
Information to gather:
- Review your checkbook, credit card statements, receipts, and bank transactions and make a list of the following:
- Cash and non-cash charitable contributions
- Unreimbursed business expenses
- Daycare expenses
- Alimony paid or received
- Real estate taxes not paid out of escrow
- If paying quarterly taxes, amounts paid during the year
- If applicable, obtain records relating to income and expenses for rental properties.
- If self- employed, obtain records relating to income and expenses of your business.
- If you purchased or sold your residence, obtain your Closing Disclosure Statement.
- If using a new tax preparer, obtain copies of your prior year tax return so it can be used as a reference to your income and deductions to determine if anything is missing for the current year.
Information received in the mail or electronically:
- Forms W-2 and forms in the "1099" category. These forms will report any income earned in 2020 (i.e., 1099-INT interest income, 1099-DIV dividends, 1099-R Retirement Distributions, 1099-MISC rents, royalties, nonemployee compensation, 1099G government payments, tax refunds, unemployment compensation, 1099-B sales of securities)
- Form 1098 reporting the amount of mortgage interest paid in 2020
- Forms in the "1095" category documenting health coverage (i.e., 1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C)
- Forms in the "K-1" category reporting income and deductions from partnerships, S corporations, trusts, and estates.
- Forms related to education expenses and credits (Form 1098-T Tuition Payments Statement, Form 1099-Q withdrawals from a 529 plan, Form 1098-E Student Loan interest statement)
Be prepared! Assembling tax information is easier now when transactions are fresh in your mind and documents are being received on a daily basis by mail or electronically. This will eliminate lost documents and a last minute scramble for information.