It may be 2019 on the calendar, but 2018 isn’t behind us yet! Over the following weeks and months, you will be reliving all of your financial decisions from 2018 while we put together your tax return. We can’t go back and undo any previous decisions, but we can certainly help you learn from them.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the government shutdown might affect tax season. Like you, we’re still waiting on more information. The IRS just announced that they will be issuing refunds during the shutdown, but it is yet to be seen if issues will arise.

But you should make every effort to get your returns filed as early as possible, especially if you are expecting a refund. There are many reasons for this, from preventing fraud to simple peace of mind. Of course, we’re here to help!

Or you can do it all on your own. But it can take you a LONG time (if you file yourself), whereas you can press that easy button and allow us to do it all on your behalf.

Either way, we’re beginning this process, and we’re looking forward to walking with you through it.

Lisa Heckman’s
“Real World” Personal Strategy Note

“What Do I Need To Bring For My Taxes in 2019?”

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” – Henry Rollins

With all of the changes every year (and, of course, that’s especially true this year), filing your taxes on your own is not for the faint of heart. That’s even with nice-looking software on the market which purport to make it easy for you.

But that’s what we’re here for: let us make it easy for you.

Below is a list of what you will need during the tax preparation process. Not all of them will apply to you — probably most will not. Nonetheless, it’s a useful checklist.

Before you get overwhelmed: yes, this is a long list — but it’s the unfortunate reality of our tax code that this list is not even comprehensive! However, these items will cover 95% of our clients. It is to ensure that we’re able to help you keep every dollar possible under the tax code.

Also note: Certain deductions went away this year. The list has changed a little for that, and I’ve notated additional changes coming down the pike.

Even if you choose to go elsewhere this tax season, feel free to use this list as a handy guide.

Personal Data
*Social Security Numbers (including spouse and children)
*Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number
*Driver’s License (including spouse)

Employment & Income Data
*W-2 forms for this year
*Tax refunds and unemployment compensation: Form 1099-G
*Miscellaneous income including rent: Form 1099-MISC
*Partnership and trust income
*Pensions and annuities
*Alimony received
*Jury duty pay
*Gambling and lottery winnings
*Prizes and awards
*Scholarships and fellowships
*State and local income tax refunds
*Unemployment compensation

Health Insurance Information

NOTE: Despite the passage of tax reform that changes this information for future tax years, we still need it for 2018 taxes.

* All 1095-A Forms from Marketplace providers (if you purchased insurance through a Marketplace)
* Existing plan information (policy numbers, etc.)
* If claiming an exemption, your unique Exemption Certificate Number
* Records of credits and/or advance payments received from the Premium Tax Credit (if claiming)

Homeowner/Renter Data
*Residential address(es) for this year
*Mortgage interest: Form 1098
*Sale of your home or other real estate: Form 1099-S
*Second mortgage interest paid
*Real estate taxes paid
*Moving expenses (note: only applies if you were in the armed forces in 2018)

Financial Assets
*Interest income statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OID
*Dividend income statements: Form 1099-DIV
*Proceeds from broker transactions: Form 1099-B
*Retirement plan distribution: Form 1099-R
*Capital gains or losses

Financial Liabilities
*Auto loans and leases (account numbers and car value) if vehicle used for business
*Student loan interest paid
*Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other fixed time deposits

*Personal property tax information
*Department of Motor Vehicles fees

*Gifts to charity (all receipts)
*Unreimbursed expenses related to volunteer work
*Education expenses (tuition and fees)
*Child care expenses
*Medical Savings Accounts
*Adoption expenses
*Alimony paid (note: this deduction will no longer be in place in 2019)

Self-Employment Data
*Estimated tax vouchers for the current year
*Self-employment tax
*Self-employment SEP plans
*Self-employed health insurance
*K-1s on all partnerships
*Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses
*Farm income

Deduction Documents
*State and local income taxes (note: $10,000 limit on these for 2018)
*IRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributions
*Medical expenses
*Other miscellaneous deductions

An important thing to understand is that we will guide you through the process, and that although much has changed this year, we are on top of these changes on your behalf.

Let me know if you have any questions. We’re here to help.


Lisa Heckman

(503) 648-6184