What Your CPA Will Need Before Filing Taxes

CPA needs before filing taxesHaving your personal or small business taxes prepared by a qualified CPA is the best way to ensure your returns conform to the latest IRS guidelines and you receive all the credits and deductions for which you qualify. But no accountant can produce an accurate, error-free return without complete access to appropriate documents and information.

If you’ve used our professional filing service in the past, then you already have a good idea of the kind of paperwork we need for your specific tax situation. However, if this is your first year with us or if your filing status for 2013 has changed in a significant way, then we recommend reviewing the following list of forms, documents, and general information required to prepare your tax returns:

Personal tax returns

  • Copy of previous year’s return (new clients only)
  • Social security number
  • Spouse’s full name and SSN
  • Ex-spouse’s SSN and amount of alimony paid (if applicable)
  • All dependents’ names, dates of birth, and SSNs
  • W-2 form from employer
  • Other income forms, such as 1099-MISC (freelance/self-employment income), 1099-G (unemployment benefits), 1099-INT (interest income), and 1099-DIV (dividend income)
  • Form 1098 (mortgage interest statement)
  • Form 1098-T (tuition statement), 1098-E (student loan interest statement), or other documents related to qualifying education expenses
  • Records of both cash and non-cash charitable contributions
  • Documents related to other types of itemized deductions, including medical expenses, unreimbursed job expenses, and job hunting expenses
  • Records of IRA contributions
  • Any other miscellaneous forms, receipts, or records sent to you for tax purposes

Small business tax returns

In addition to the above documents, small business owners are asked to provide the following:

  • Estimated tax payment receipts
  • Year-end balance sheet and profit & loss statement
  • Year-end business bank account and investment account statements
  • Employer’s annual wage report (W-2) and transmittal form (W-3)
  • All payroll tax forms for the year, including 940, 941, and state-related withholding and unemployment forms
  • Records regarding expenses for business use of vehicles
  • Information related to home office deduction

Please note that you may not receive formal documentation for all of the deductible items or expenses mentioned above or for other special circumstances related to your filing status. In those cases, we ask that you still note down dates, amounts, and other pertinent information for us to review. If necessary, our office can also provide you with a preliminary organizer to help get your paperwork in order prior to your appointment.

When it comes to filing federal and state income tax returns, individuals and small business owners alike can reap substantial benefits from the insight and knowledge of an experienced CPA. Help us help you by arriving with the proper forms, documents, and information we need to file your 2013 return in a timely manner.