Most tax and accounting professionals probably have one thing on their mind right now: the July 15 individual federal tax filing deadline. There are some steps you can take with your clients to make the final push a little easier. For starters, if you haven’t already reached out to your clients, it’s a good idea to send them an email reminding them about the deadline, which documents they need to provide to you, and any other tasks they should complete that will help you file their tax return.
In order to help you deliver more value to your clients and ease up on the end of season crunch, we’ve pulled together a checklist of important documents and information that you can share with your clients. Keep in mind that you may already have some of this information based on last year’s returns, or it could be in QuickBooks® Online, so customize the items from the list below for each client.
- Social Security number(s) and date(s) of birth.
- Copies of last year’s tax return.
- Bank account number and routing number if your client would like to receive their refund directly into their account.
Income information and forms
- Job income: Form W-2
- Investment income: Form 1099 (-INT, -DIV, -MISC, -B, and others), K-1s, and stock option information.
- Income from state and local income tax refunds and/or unemployment: Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments.
- Taxable alimony received (applicable to divorces finalized before Jan. 1, 2019).
- Business or farming income: profit/loss statements and capital equipment information.
- For self-employed clients: home size, office size, home expenses, and office expenses
- IRA/pension distributions: Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contract, etc.; and Form 8606, Nondeductible IRAs.
- Rental property income/expense: profit/loss statement and rental property suspended loss information.
- Social Security benefits: Forms SSA-1099.
- Income from sales of property: original cost and cost of improvements, escrow closing statement, and Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt.
- Prior year installment sale information: Form 6252, Installment Sale Income, principal and Interest collected during the year, Social Security number, and address of payer
- Other miscellaneous income: jury duty, gambling winnings, medical savings account (MSA), scholarships, and other income.
Other information for potential income adjustments
- IRA contributions.
- Energy credits.
- Student loan interest.
- MSA contributions.
- Self-employed health insurance payment.
- Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE, and other self-employed pension plans.
- Alimony paid that is tax deductible, applicable to divorces finalized before Jan. 1, 2019.
- Educator expenses
Itemized tax deductions and credits
- Child care costs: provider’s name, address, tax ID, and amount paid.
- Education costs: Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, and education expenses.
- Adoption costs: Social Security number of child, legal, medical, and transportation costs.
- Home mortgage interest and points paid: Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement.
- Investment interest expense.
- Charitable donations: Cash amounts and value of donated property, miles driven, and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Casualty and theft losses: amount of damage and insurance reimbursements.
- Medical and dental expenses.
Information regarding taxes paid
- State and local income taxes paid.
- Real estate taxes paid.
- Personal property taxes: vehicle license fee based on value.
Other information (if applicable)
- Estimated tax payment made during the year, prior year refund applied to the current year, and any amount paid with an extension to file.
- Foreign bank account information: location, name of bank, account number, and the peak value of account during the year
To go that extra mile, you can tailor this list for your clients based on their industry, employment status, or major life changes. Sometimes, all clients need is a little push.
Once you’ve received all of the documents and information that you need, Intuit® Lacerte®, ProSeries®, and ProConnect™ Tax can help streamline the filing process and increase your productivity. In addition, check out Intuit Practice Management, a workflow tool that helps tax pros work more smoothly, from that first client email to e-filing their tax returns, by integrating tax software with email communications, task automation, real-time collaboration, and more.