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Taxes:   Filing an Extension |  Finance |  Investing |  Mailing Returns |  Preparing Your Return |  Property Taxes |  Reduce Your Taxes |  State Income Taxes |  Stocks |  Student Aid |  Tax Help |  Tax Software |  Main Menu
Federal Income Taxes State Income Taxes Medical Expenses
  • Some pharmacies like can print yearly summaries of your prescriptions for medical expenses.
Tax Preparation Software Tax Preparation Assistance and Professional Tax Offices Kansas City Missouri Taxes Property and Real-estate Tax Information Filing an Extension
  • For an extension to file your federal return, file form 4868.  You still must pay the amount due by April 15, but you will have until Oct. 15 to file your return.  Each state has its own requirements for obtaining a similar extension.
To protect yourself from a thief using a fake tax return to steal your return:
  • File earlier.   Most of your "Important Tax Document" mailings should arrive before mid-February.
  • Revist your W-4 withholding. You will reduce your risk of a loss from a fake return by having as little a refund as possible.   Look at your previous year's returns and try to match your witholding to your estimated tax liability so you will file with nearly ZERO owed and nearly ZERO return.
  • Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
Reduce Your Taxes
  • Save on your taxes by simply moving up to $5000 from non-IRA investments into an IRA.  Money moved into a Roth IRA will not save you on this year's taxes but will not be taxed when it is removed.  Money moved into a Traditional IRA can save you on this year's taxes, but will be taxed when it is removed.  Money can be moved for the previous year up to Apr. 15 of the current year.  Consult with your tax preparer about this.  File form 5498 every year you make a traditional IRA contribution.
  • Contributing enough each year to your 401K will reduce your taxes and ensure you have enough money to retire (See the Retirement Savings Calculator).  A 401k retirement plan is a special type of account funded through pre-tax payroll deductions. The funds in the account can be invested in a number of different stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other assets, and are not taxed on any capital gains, dividends, or interest until they are withdrawn. The only way to pay into a 401K is through payroll deductions.   See also Retirement Planning.  Typically you invest during your high-income years and save on taxes, then take your money at a lower tax rate in your retirement years.
  • Contributions made during the tax year (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31) to a approved 529 plan can reduce your state tax, but will not reduce your federal tax.
  • Keep track of donations to charities (clothes, money, etc...). It's Deductible
  • Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, click here and here2.
  • Senior citizens and low income families may be eligible for property tax refunds and food sales tax refunds, contact your state's department of revenue for more information.  See also Assistance Programs.
Mailing Returns

Things You Will Need to Gather to Prepare Your Taxes

Preparing Your Taxes:   Federal Income Taxes |  Mailing Returns |  Property Taxes |  Reduce Your Taxes |  State Income Taxes |  Tax Help |  Tax Software |  Finance |  Stocks |  Student Aid |  Main Menu

Gather the following (as applicable) before preparing your federal and state tax returns
General items
All items mailed to you that say "Important Tax Document" including W2's and 1099's.
A copy of last year's federal and state tax returns (both paper and electronic if available)
Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, and your dependents
Addresses of property
Previous year's tax paid or refunded
If you created an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), bring your PIN # for this year to your tax preparer so your tax return can be submitted.
If you received any pandemic stimulus money, bring the amounts and dates received to your tax preparer.
Tax Preparation Software and a calculator.
Tax laws, liabilities, rates, and deductions change every year, so always review your tax guide for the current tax year.

Items you will need for TAX LIABILITIES
W-2 form(s) for you (and your spouse if filing joint) from all of your employers for the year.   I believe that employers are required to provide a W2 to employees (or a 1099-MISC to independent contractors) whenever total earnings exceed $600 or whenever the employer has withhead income, social security, or medicare tax.
1099-MISC forms for freelance or contractor income
1099 form(s) for you (and your spouse if filing joint) from all savings accounts and investments.  If missing, ask your financial advisor to send you 1099 reports for your investments, or you can obtain these documents from your brokerage web site.  Your brokerage should be able to provide a Tax Year Form 1099 Composite Report that you can simply hand to your tax preparer.
Proof of Alimony received
1099-DIV dividends from stocks or mutual funds
1099-INT interest earned on savings or other bank accounts (on year-end statement)
1099-G income from unemployment compensation or from state and local income tax refunds
1099-R, 8606 IRA/retirement/pension distributions (rollovers)
1099-B, Brokerage statements, along with statements showing when you bought and sold your investments
1099-SSA Social Security benefits
Income from jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account (MSA), scholarships, etc.
Schedule C income and expenses for self-employment, personal business profit(>$400)/loss, capital equipment information
Schedule D include from eBay sales, Craigslist, ... (Save your receipts!)

Items you will need for TAX CREDITS (Deductions)
Compare the standard deduction to itemizing your deductions to determine which option results in the lowest tax
Amount of real estate tax and personal property (car, boat, or mobile home) tax you paid last year
State and local income taxes paid last year can be deducted on your Federal return
Credit for IRA contributions (traditional, SEP, or rollovers). *Roth IRA is not a tax credit.
Credit for Alimony paid
1098-T Credit for tuition (& education expenses) you paid to attend college, or for a child in school
1098 Credit for home mortgage interest and points you paid
1098-C Credit for monetary value of charitable donations
1098-E Credit student loan interest paid of at least $600 during the year
1099-G If you itemized deductions in the previous year (Schedule A), know the amount of state tax refund you received
1099-SA Health Savings Account Distribution (reimbursements).   If missing, you can print this form from your HSA web site.
5498-SA Health Savings Account Contributions.   If missing, you can print this form from your HSA web site.
Documentation of additional health expenses that you were not able to pay using your Health Savings Account.
Receipts for home-office expenses (home size, office size, home expenses, office expenses), job search expenses, moving expenses, Job-related expenses (union dues, job education, uniforms), gambling losses, and charitable contributions.
Receipts for health care expenses (doctors, dentists, health insurance, eye care, medicine).   A summary of all of your expenses can often be found by logging into your health insurance provider website.
Advance Child Tax Credit: Summary of your child care costs, day care, or adult day care expenses - provider's name, address, tax id, and amount paid
Contributions made during the tax year (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31) to a approved 529 plan can reduce your state tax, but will not reduce your federal tax.

Final Items that you may need
Direct deposit information - routing and account numbers if selecting a direct deposit (refund) or direct debit (balance due).
If electronically filing, direct deposit refunds take 7-10 business days, versus 30 days for a paper check
Your spouse, if filing a joint electronic tax return (both must be present to sign documents)
Be sure to bring a USB flash drive with you to your tax preparer, so you can get a electronic copy of your tax return.
Bring your checkbook !   You may need to write a check to pay (1) federal taxes due, (2) state taxes due, and (3) your tax preparation fees to your tax preparer.

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