Questions & Answers
What items should I bring to my tax appointment?
- IF NOT PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED, a copy of the Social Security Card for each family member
- A copy of your previous tax return, if not prepared by this office.
- Form(s) W-2 (wages, etc.)
Form(s) 1099 (miscellaneous, interest, dividends, etc.)
- Schedule(s) K-1 (income/ loss from partnerships, S-corporations, trusts, etc.)
- Form(s) 1098 (mortgage interest) and property tax statement.
- Brokerage statements from stock, bond, or other investment transactions.
- Closing statements pertaining to any real estate transaction (purchase, sale, refinance).
- DMV fees paid (VLF portion).
- Any tax notices received from the IRS or other taxing authorities.
- For non-cash charitable contributions of $250 or more, you must have a receipt from the institution detailing each item and the value. For non-cash contributions of $5,000 or more, you must obtain an appraisal of the item(s) donated.
- Individuals who have changed their name after marriages or divorces must change their name with the Social Security Administration. The IRS matches the Social Security Administration master file for verification of name and social security number. If these do not match, the IRS disallows the deduction for the person being claimed. If you are unsure, take a moment to call the Social Security Administration and verify this information and make changes as necessary.
- Amounts spent on child care for employees children
- For the child and dependent care credit, bring the total of any non-taxable funds received, including child support and public assistance; percentage of time the qualifying dependent lived in the California home of the taxpayer; and telephone number of the care provider.
- Information regarding disaster losses.
- For military personnel, dates in combat zones.
What is the duration of time a business or individual should store tax records?
Federal law states to hold documents for the period of limitations, which in most cases is three years. However, there is always varying circumstances that could increase or decrease the amount of time to store tax-related documents. According to the IRS:
- You owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you; keep records for 3 years.
- You do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return; keep records for 6 years.
- You file a fraudulent return; keep records indefinitely.
- You do not file a return; keep records indefinitely.
- .You file a claim for credit or refund* after you file your return; keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
- You file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction; keep records for 7 years.
- Keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.
DAngelo and Associates recommends that clients adopt a conservative approach and follow the supplemental timeline below detailing the amount of time to store specific business and individual tax documents.
Business documents to store for 3 years:
- Bank statements and reconciliations
- Employment applications and new hire paperwork
- Internal reports and general correspondence
- Employee personal records for three years after termination
- Employee timecards
- Physical inventory identification tags
- Insurance policies after expiration
Individual documents to store for 3 years:
- Credit card statements
- Insurance policies after expiration
- Utility records
- All medical bills; co-pays, prescriptions, etc
Business documents to keep for six years:
- Claims and accident reports
- Accounts payable and receivable schedules
- Cancelled checks
- Employment tax records
- Expired options, contracts and leases
- Revenue and sales records
- Payroll records and summaries
- Pension and health benefit records
- Travel and entertainment records
- Voucher records
- Notes receivable and payable ledgers
- Invoices sent to customers
Individual records to keep for six years:
- Accident reports and claims
- Documents supporting filed tax returns
- Medical and other tax-related bills
- Property records; real estate tax, mortgage interest and improvement receipts
- Sales receipts
- Wage garnishment records
- Investment trade confirmations and pension records.
Business records to keep indefinitely:
- Audit reports from accountants and CPAs
- Chart of accounts
- Revenue producing contracts
- Trademark and patent registrations
- Tax returns and supporting statements
- Corporate documents and legal records
- Any IRS reports or inquiries
Individual records to keep indefinitely:
- CPA and accountant audit reports
- Legal records
- Income tax returns accompanied by payments, if any.