Tax Preparation - 2021 COVID EDITION
2021 Tax Preparation Services are via Remote Appointment Only
We are providing our returning clients with a full tax organizer this year. This document is created based on your prior year tax returns. The document is mostly to help you gather and organize your documents for upload to our secure site.
New clients will be given a blank tax organizer – you must fill out all of the personal information, including full social security numbers and birth dates.
What We Need
Remembering the whole mess of documents required to prepare a tax return is difficult! Here’s one general principle that is helpful to keep in mind: the IRS wants to know how much income you had, and how much money was used on certain “good” expenses (education, charity, medicine, mortgages, saving for retirement, etc.). There are tax credits and deductions for these expenses.
Usually “bad” expenses aren’t deductible. A trip to your favorite bar for Happy Hour? Only partially deductible, if you have a documented business reason for the expense. Still not deductible. Concerts, trips to Disneyland or Japan – remember those things….most likely still not deductible.
Generally speaking, if it was fun, it is NOT deductible.
So, with that general rule in mind, here’s a more detailed list.
We must have copies of these government documents:
- W-2s (Wages from your employer)
- 1099-R (Retirement Income)
- 1099-Misc (Self-employment income)
- 1099-Int (Interest income) and 1099-Div (Dividend income)
- 1099-B (Stocks and Bonds)
- K-1 forms (partnership, small business, or trust)
- 1099-SSA (Social Security Income)
- Rental Income – Income and Expenses
- Alimony Paid or Receive
- Bought a new home? we will need a copy of the closing statement
- 2021 has been the year of the home loan re-finance! we need a copy of all re-financing documents for your home mortgage
- IRA/401(k) contributions
- we need to know if these are ROTH contributions
- Education expenses – we must have a copy of the IRS Form 1098-T
- Medical and Dental expenses
- Gifts to charities and churches
- Property Tax Statements
- Business-related auto expenses (mileage log, maintenance, insurance, lease payments, car purchase,)
- Home office expenses – we will need the sq footage of the office and the entire house square footage.
- Own your own business?
Small businesses are very diverse. So are their tax situations. If you own your own business, additional documents will be required. Please email the front desk for further information.
Simple Tax Returns
Do you feel like you got a handle on all your documents and you know what to do with them? If so, you might not need a Certified Public Accountant. Online tax preparation software is a great option for simpler returns.
Rainbow Tax & Accounting Etiquette
Please be kind to my team – I know it is frustrating when my busy schedule does not allow me to take your calls immediately.
Please do not wear perfumes and colognes to the office – we have some team members who are sensitive to scents.
Please be respectful when they ask for your ID – this is a requirement of the IRS and we must have it to e-file your taxes.
Please be respectful when they ask for additional forms to be completed.
Please know that each and every client is important to me – we try our best to meet your needs promptly.
The best form of communication is email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Office – We are super bummed the office remains closed to the public to help prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Rainbow Tax and Accounting works out of a small office in Milwaukie sandwiched between three dentists. Parking is great and Portland is just two miles away! We love it.
Stuffy conference room in a skyscraper downtown? Not our style. Ties? Jax no longer wears a tie in the office – even though it is our well known logo.
We like to keep it casual and comfortable and fun.
If you are coming to drop off tax documents, if they are available, Jax may chat with you a bit about your situation. Masks are required and social distancing will be strictly enforced. Your tax preparer may have some questions as we dig into your documents, we prefer to send our questions via email, please let us know if that will not work for you.
Full online appointments for 2021 are 45 minutes. This time is for you and your tax preparer to go over important changes during the past year. We will also review the documents you have provided and let you know if anything is missing or needs further clarification.
We charge less for less complicated tax returns, and more for more complicated tax returns. (We found the other way didn’t work so well.)
More complicated tax returns have more schedules.
The most basic tax returns require no additional schedules. Here’s some examples of income and expenses that often require additional schedules and forms:
- College Expenses
- Childcare Expenses
- Stocks and Bonds
- Retirement income
The easiest way to estimate the number of required schedules:
- Look at your prior year tax return
- Count the number of schedules (Schedule A, Schedule B, Schedule C, etc.) stapled to the back of the return.
- If your income and expenses for the current year were similar to the prior year, you will probably need to file the same schedules.
Time is Money
Enlisting Jax to manage your tax & accounting needs today
can save you hours of headache throughout the year.