The Tax Madness

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”  – Albert Einstein

We are sure that many of us, would indeed, echo the sentiments of Mr. Einstein. There is no question that the world of income taxes can be a mystifying and sometimes challenging place.

As we enter the final week of March, we also enter the “final stretch” of tax season, as the April 15th tax deadline quickly approaches. At Merit, we certainly understand that the season of income tax preparation can go hand-in-hand feelings of joy (when one receives that much-anticipated refund); result in surprises (when one discovers they may, in fact, OWE, versus receive a refund); bring forth feelings of frustration (as one continues to await those last-minute K-1’s, with the hope of avoiding having to file an extension) and of course, culminate with feelings of gratitude (when the CPA informs you they’ve hit the “file” button and your tax mission is finally accomplished for the year). It can be a roller coaster of highs and lows, to say the least.

We know there are some of you who hit the “file” button before many of us even donned our green and celebrated the luck of the Irish. Likewise, we know that some of you may be reading this with the knowledge that filing your personal or business income taxes is still very much on the “to do” list and a task you’ve not yet even begun to tackle! If you fall in the latter category, don’t panic!  Instead, check out a few helpful hints below, which will help you get the proverbial ‘ball rolling’ on this most important project:

  • Begin by gathering all important and necessary tax documentation you’ll need to file your income taxes to include, but certainly are not limited to: W-9’s, Forms 1099/1099-R, Forms K-1, brokerage statements showing investment transactions for stocks, bonds, etc., statements supporting educational expenses, deductions or distributions, all Forms 1095-A, 1095-B and/or 1095-C related to healthcare coverage or the premium tax credit, statements supporting any deductions for mortgage interest, taxes and charitable contributions (including any form 1098-C), copies of closing statements regarding the sale or purchase of real property, legal papers for adoption, divorce or separation involving custody of your dependent children, any tax notices sent to you by the IRS or other taxing authority and finally, a copy of your income tax return from last year. A helpful checklist can be found here
  • Review all pertinent tax-related deadlines and be sure you keep those front of mind! Click here for a comprehensive list of all deadlines.
  • If a tax professional handles your taxes, be sure to touch base with their office to confirm when all applicable documentation must be provided to them in order to ensure all necessary deadlines are met!
  • Finally, don’t forget: your Merit team is here to help! If there is anything we may do to assist you and your accountant in your tax preparation efforts, please give our office a call. It will be our pleasure to do anything we can to help make the final stretch of tax season a bit less “maddening”.

Wishing our clients and friends a wonderful April, with all the beauty it brings!