The Documents You Need To Provide Your Tax Accountant

When you meet with a tax accountant it is important to bring all the necessary documents in order to get the most out of this meeting. There is a long list of important documents necessary to prepare your tax return. I recently found this article, which I thought would be important to share. Whether you have been to an accountant before or you just need a refresher, here is a comprehensive list of documents that you need to bring to make the most of your visit.

Documents that show all your income for the year. These documents may include:

  • W-2s from your employers
  • 1099-MISC forms (self-employment income)
  • 1099-INT (interest) and 1099-DIV (dividends) forms
  • 1099-B forms (shows brokerage trades in stocks and bonds)
  • K-1 forms (income from a partnership, small business, or trust)
  • 1099-SSA (Social Security received)

Expense Documentation

It is important to bring written documents, such as a spreadsheet or bank statement, for any income not reported on a W-2 or 1099 form. This income could include other self-employment income, rental income or alimony.

You will also want to bring the necessary documentation for any contributions to your traditional or SEP-IRA, moving expenses, college expenses, medical and dental expenses, real estate taxes, gifts to charities and churches, and daycare or childcare costs.

Note: Some expenses are reported to you. For example, mortgage interest is reported on form 1098 and student loan interest is reported on form 1098-E.

Lastly, if you paid estimated taxes, bring a summary of your estimated federal and state tax payments as well as any canceled checks.

What to do if you are missing documents:

  • If you are missing your Form W-2, you can ask your employer to send you a new copy. Some employers may charge a small fee for this service but all employers are required by law to keep copies of your W-2 forms for at least four years.
  • If you are miss your Form 1099, your bank may have tax documents available on their website or you could get a copy mailed to you by contacting customer service.
  • To report stock trading and dividend activity, investment brokers can mail you copies of Form 1099-B and 1099-DIV. You can also try to download a copy from the brokerage website.
  • For consultants or independent contractors, if you earned more than $600 then you will need a 1099-MISC to report this income. Your client is required to send you this document, but even if they did not send it, you are still required to report this income.
  • For other types of 1099 forms, you should contact the organization responsible for issuing the tax form.

How to obtain copies of your tax documents from the IRS

  • Online: You can request a copy of your Wage and Income transcript for this link.
  • Mail: You can mail or fax Form 4506-T to the IRS. This form will allow you to your income documents, including: Form W-2, Form 1099 series, Form 1098 series and Form 5498 series transcript.

Note: Your tax accountant will be able to request copies from the IRS as well. You will likely want to contact the institutions shown on the IRS transcripts to obtain a copy of the original documents as well.