Accounting and Tax Updates

General Discussion
Your Tax Organizer is Coming!
By Gary Weinman, Jan. 16th, 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2017 tax season.  Shortly you will be receiving your tax organizer in the mail and I wanted to take a few moments to give you some tips and tricks on how to fill it in.

  • Engagement Letter- Please read the engagement letter as it has a lot of information that may make you think of additional items that we will need.  Also, don’t forget to sign it and send it back with your organizer
  • Delivery of tax returns- Our standard method of delivery is via secure email.  If you delivery via another method you will have to choose a different delivery option.
  • Questions- There are five pages of questions.  If you do not fill out another section of the organizer, this is the section to fill out.  These questions cover a variety of topics which will help us determine if there are missing items in your return.
  • The organizer- Each organizer is based on your prior year return and is sent to you customized.  You should use the organizer as a guide to help you gather all of your information.
  • W-2s, 1099s, etc. - Nothing makes a CPA happier than to actually have the source data.  You do not need to copy the information from these documents in to the organizer.  It is easier to just write “Enclosed”.
  • Changes from the prior year- If you have changed a job, a bank, a brokerage account in 2015 please mark the organizer that the account was closed in 2015.  Otherwise we will be looking for the documentation for 2016.
  • Business income/Rental property- Your organizer will list all of the categories that we reported income and expenses in 2015 with the amount next to it.  These we will need to be filled in unless you can provide another suitable method such as QuickBooks reports.
  • K-1s- Your organizer will have a list of every K-1 in your return from 2015.  Similar to the above you should use this as a guide for what you are collecting, what is new, what you no longer own, and notes as to when missing k-1s are expected.
  • Charity- As a reminder for donations in excess of $250 you have to have a specific acknowledgment notice from the charity.
  • Goodwill- Do not forget non-cash contributions of clothing and household items that you may have donated.
  • Mortgage Interest-  Home mortgage interest may be limited when your mortgage balance exceeds  $1,100,000.  If your mortgages are greater than this balance we will need to know the outstanding balances during 2016.
  • Estimated Tax Payments- Probably the #1 reason for tax notices from the IRS and the states are due to the incorrect reporting of estimated tax payments.  Please double check the payments that you made.  As a reminder payments made in January and April 2016 are most likely for tax year 2015 and payments made in January 2017 are most likely for 2016.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.