New Tax Year: Preparation and Organization is Key

In a few more days, it will be 2018. A new year full of hope and surprises. Allow me to help you start preparing and organizing for the upcoming tax year.

Be vigilant and be careful not to throw away mails with the words “important tax information enclosed”. The Internal Revenue Service is also furnished with such documents, so it’s very important that you do not miss anything.

A quick reminder of what you should be looking for:

  1. W-2s – Review it very carefully and communicate with your employer if you find any discrepancy or if you do not receive it by Feb.1, 2018
  2. 1099B – 1099 int or 1099div from accounts that pay interest or dividends
  3. 1099-misc – If you worked as independent contractor
  4. 1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C, this are proof of health insurance documents. Specially 1095-A, which you will receive if you purchased insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace and you qualify for the premium tax credit
  5. 1099s – this is where real estate sales is being reported
  6. 1099-B for stock sales transaction
  7. 1099-R for 401K, Pension and IRA distribution
  8. 1099-SSA if you receive Social Security benefits
  9. 1095- and 1095-C, these reports foreclosures and Debt consolidations
  10. 1098 – Mortgage interest payments, this may include amounts of real estate taxes paid
  11. 1098-T, contain Tuition fees paid to school or university. This form may be mailed to the dependent student’s address or can also be accessed through the school’s intranet network
  12. Schedule K1- to report income from Partnerships and Corporations
  13. W2-G if you have gambling winnings
  14. 1099–G if you received unemployment compensation or Tax refund from the State
  15. Other income, like prizes, awards, and rent received
  • Please take note: CORRECTED forms may be issued after the original one has been sent.
  • Review each one carefully for correctness and accuracy and keep together with your other tax documents.
  • If you own a business or you are self employed, you need to issue 1099-misc. income if you paid $600 or more to any independent contractor you hired for services in 2017, such as painters, consultants and builders. Form 1099s must be issued and mailed to the contractor and the IRS by January 31, 2018. Feel free to call me if you have any question.


Below are items that are often missed and overlooked. Kindly inform me if you have or received any of the following:

  1. IRA, Roth and HSA accounts. These may help you save you some taxes . Kindly take note of the dates and amount you made the contribution and if you made a distribution or withdrawal from your IRA or 401k account, it needs to be reported as income and additional tax liability may be computed.
  2. Complex transactions like real estate sales, foreclosures and theft and casualty losses.
  3. Dependent care expenses or Child-care expenses. Tax ID number and summary of payment Statement from the childcare provider is necessary to be able to claim the deduction.
  4. If you refinance, review your final settlement if you paid for points.
  5. Estimated Quarterly Tax payments made to both the IRS and state. Look for the amount and the date when you made the payments.
  6. Sale of real estate property, keep and bring your final settlement statement. 
  7. Business records – make sure to document every business income and expenses and separate it from personal transactions. 
  8. Business mileage logs – if you have business mileage deduction, it is very important to keep records of the date, starting odometer reading, ending odometer reading, total mileage and business purpose of the trip. This is for EACH TRIP. The deduction may be challenged and disallowed if a correct and a complete mileage log is not provided. Mileage phone apps like “MileIQ”, “TripLog” and “Everlance” can also be very helpful in tracking business mileage or a simple small notebook will suffice as long as mileage details are indicated.
  9. Business meals and entertainment expenses – proper record keeping is also of paramount importance. For each business related meal and entertainment expense, log it in your expense worksheet and at the back of the receipt, put in the amount, date, with whom and business purpose.
  10. Employer reimbursements – we can only deduct the excess of your business expenses, not the amount reimbursed your employer.
  11. Interests in partnerships and S corporations. Schedule K1 is needed to properly report your income.

Keep records of all substantiating documents for all items you will include as a deduction on your return. Review everything that occurred during the year. Go back into check register and calendar to refresh your memory. Out of pocket medical bills paid, home office expenses, etc…

For charitable contributions, receipts are required or the deduction may be challenged and disallowed.

Please start to plan and organize as soon as possible and make a list of the tax documents you may need to facilitate the preparation and filing of your 2017 return.

These statements and tips are for informational purposes only and based on generalizations and may not apply to all taxpayers.

Oscar B. Antonio, EA

[2017 issue: 2]