Most people fear tax time because they dread having to gather up all that paperwork and documentation — they are certain that they will overlook something vital and mess up their bottom line. No worries this year — just follow this step-by-step checklist and you should have everything covered.
number of dependents — children under age 18, dependent college students, others you support
social security numbers for each family member
tax return and supporting documents from the previous year
tax preparation instructions for the current tax year
proof of IRA contributions for the year
add up your mileage driving to and from volunteer activities
tally other volunteer expenses — items bought for completing your volunteer duties
figure out your total cash donations
add up all qualified in-kind donations to approved charities
you can count mileage back and forth dropping off donations
get your paid childcare provider’s tax ID and social security number
you can count childcare expenses as a deduction — nanny, babysitters, afterschool programs
if you have adopted a child, you can count adoption expenses
you may be able to deduct education expenses and student loans
count supply and equipment expenses — you may have to depreciate large equipment expenses
home office expenses — plus a portion of your household utilities and rent/mortgage
mileage and other business travel expenses — meals, hotel, parking, etc.
marketing, printing, and mailing costs
payroll and employment expenses
sales tax paid
professional development and continuing ed — classes, workshops, manuals, etc.
automobile loan or lease if the car is used exclusively or primarily for business
other professional and business expenses
you can count your tax return preparation costs as a deduction
if you are divorced, tally up any alimony paid
medical and dental expenses (if you are eligible for a medical deduction)
mortgage interest paid on your personal or rental properties
moving costs (if your relocation is eligible for a deduction)
unreimbursed employment expenses (travel, lodging, etc.)
W-2 forms from employer
1099 forms from self-employment and contract work
business or farm earnings
income from partnerships or trusts
income from real estate
federal, state, and local income tax refunds
income from pensions and annuities
interest from investments, savings accounts, etc.
prize money won
this information is not meant to replace qualified legal advice
you may not be eligible for all of these deductions
your accountant can tell you which deductions you may take
can also advise you as to any limits on your deductions
always have a qualified CPA prepare or review your return to prevent errorsClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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