Getting your tax documents together is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be a giant project either. As the end of the year approaches, take a few minutes to go through your finances and make a list of every institution you do business with – your mortgage lender, bank(s), stock brokers, crypto exchange, health insurance, etc. Create a folder with a checklist and simply add documents to it as they come in, including W-2s, 1099s, and any other document that becomes available. When in doubt, keep it! It’s better to have too much information than too little. When your checklist is complete, you’re good to go and you can get the ball rolling on your tax return. The sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your refund if you are owed one.
Wait to file until you have your tax records including:
- Forms W-2 from your employer(s)
- Forms 1099 from banks, issuing agencies and other payers including unemployment compensation, dividends, pension, annuity or retirement plan distributions
- Form 1099-K, 1099-MISC, W-2 or other income statement if you worked in the gig economy
- Form 1099-INT if you were paid interest
- Other income documents and records of digital asset transactions
- Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, to reconcile advance payments or claims Premium Tax Credits for 2022 Marketplace coverage
- IRS or other agency letters
- CP01A Notice with your new Identity Protection PIN
- Notify the IRS if your address changes and notify the Social Security Administration of a legal name change.
Remember, most income is taxable. This includes:
- Unemployment income,
- Interest received,
- Income from the gig economy, and
- Digital assets.
While you wait for your documents to be available, check out these tips from the IRS for a great summary of what to expect for the coming tax season, and please give us a call to discuss your unique tax situation or any other questions you may have.
Get Ready for what’s new for Tax Year 2022
With the end of the year approaching, time is running out to take advantage of the Tax Withholding Estimator. This online tool is designed to help taxpayers determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from their paycheck. Some people may have life changes like getting married or divorced, welcoming a child or taking on a second job. Other taxpayers may need to consider estimated tax payments due to non-wage income from unemployment, self-employment, annuity income or even digital assets. The last quarterly payment for 2022 is due on January 17, 2023. The Tax Withholding Estimator can help wage earners determine if there is a need to adjust their withholding, consider additional tax payments, or submit a new W-4 form to their employer to avoid an unexpected tax bill when they file.
Taxpayers should report the income they earned, including from part-time work, side jobs or the sale of goods. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 lowered the reporting threshold for third-party networks that process payments for those doing business. Prior to 2022, Form 1099-K was issued for third-party payment network transactions only if the total number of transactions exceeded 200 for the year and the aggregate amount of these transactions exceeded $20,000. Now a single transaction exceeding $600 can trigger a 1099-K. The lower information reporting threshold and the summary of income on Form 1099-K enables taxpayers to more easily track the amounts received. Remember, money received through third-party payment applications from friends and relatives as personal gifts or reimbursements for personal expenses is not taxable. Those who receive a 1099-K reflecting income they didn’t earn should call the issuer. The IRS cannot correct it.
Credit amounts also change each year like the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Dependent Care Credit. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov to determine their eligibility for tax credits. Some taxpayers may qualify this year for the expanded eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit, while others may qualify for a Clean Vehicle Credit through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
Refunds may be smaller in 2023. Taxpayers will not receive an additional stimulus payment with a 2023 tax refund because there were no Economic Impact Payments for 2022. In addition, taxpayers who don’t itemize and take the standard deduction, won’t be able to deduct their charitable contributions.
The IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a 2022 federal tax refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer. For example, the IRS and its partners in the tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to protect against identity theft. Additionally, refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) can’t be issued before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund – not just the portion associated with EITC or ACTC. This law helps ensure taxpayers receive the refund they’re due by giving the IRS time to detect and prevent fraud.
For taxpayers who are still waiting for confirmation that last year’s tax return processed, or for a tax year 2021 refund or stimulus payment to process, their patience is appreciated. As of November 11, 2022, the IRS had 3.7 million unprocessed individual returns received this year. These include tax year 2021 returns and late filed prior year returns. Of these, 1.7 million returns require error correction or other special handling, and 2 million are paper returns waiting to be reviewed and processed. They also had 900,000 unprocessed Forms 1040-X for amended tax returns. The IRS is processing these amended returns in the order received and the current timeframe can be more than 20 weeks. Taxpayers should continue to check Where’s My Amended Return? for the most up-to-date processing status available.