March 2, 2021
Your Tax Season Checklist
Looking to avoid a rushed, late-night number-crunching session to get your taxes filed by this year’s May 17th deadline? While you can’t avoid filing your taxes, you can avoid some tax filing headaches with a little preparation.
First, you need to decide how you are going to file because there are quite a few options. You can schedule a time with your tax professional, use one of the many available online services, or ask your cousin Eddy to take a gander. No matter which option you choose, you’ll need to have a few things ready in order to make sure you file correctly (and efficiently).
The IRS says you should have these things when you are getting ready to file taxes:
- Proof of identification
- Social Security Cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if you do not have a social security card and proof of foreign status if applying for ITIN
- Birthdates for yourself and, if applicable, spouse and dependents
- Wage and Earning Statements (W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc) from all of your employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks
- Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
- Copy of last year’s tax returns (state and federal)
- Direct Deposit information
- Total paid to daycare provider & the daycare’s tax ID number
- Forms 1095-A, B, C, Health Coverage Statements
- Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
How do life insurance proceeds work when it comes to filing taxes?
If you have been the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, there are a few things to know. The IRS website states, “Generally, life insurance proceeds you receive as a beneficiary due to the death of the insured person aren’t includable in gross income and you don’t have to report them.”
This, however, does not pertain to interest. The IRS website explains, “Any interest you receive is taxable and you should report it as interest received.”
How are deferred annuities taxed?
Deferred annuities are a tax-deferred investment option so you generally won’t start paying taxes on earnings until you take a withdrawal or you begin your income payments. You may have to pay a 10% federal income tax penalty on earnings you withdraw before age 59½. An advantage of this investment option is that you might be in a lower income bracket when you begin paying the taxes on your annuity income.
If you have questions about taxes, please be sure to consult a legal professional or accountant who can provide you with more detailed information.