Over the weekend, I spent some time pulling together all of our tax-related documents. While we no longer do our own taxes, I still have to spend a bit of time organizing things before dropping them off with our tax guy.
For the most part, this is a straightforward process. Gather all W-2 and 1099 forms that came in the mail, download the few that didn’t (I cross-reference everything against MoneyDance to be sure I’m not missing anything), collect our charity receipts, and so forth.
We also have some fairly simple business-related tax issues, so I had to collect documentation supporting income and expenses on that front, but here again it was pretty straightforward.
But as I was putting the finishing touches on our pile of papers, I realized that I had forgotten several nice deductibles.
The first of these were the ad valorem taxes that we pay as part of our annual auto registrations. I had the paperwork filed away, but nearly forgot to include it.
The second was the property taxes on our home. This is a fairly large chunk of (tax deductible) change that I can’t believe I (almost) forgot about.
And finally, we bought two cars last year. Though the option to choose between deducting your state income taxes and sales taxes expired at the end 2011, Congress recently re-instated it retroactively for 2012, and going forward for 2013.
If you don’t want to save your receipts (and who does?) you can always look use a tabled value based on your income and state of residence. But even if you choose to use the table, you can still add in the sales tax from certain other “major” purchases including motor vehicles, boats, aircraft, and certain home building/improvement expenses.
It remains to be seen whether or not the sales tax deduction will come into play for us, but the car purchases are two big pieces of that puzzle.
Of course, there’s no way we would’ve forgotten these things entirely. Either I would’ve remembered (eventually) or our tax guy would’ve remembered for us. But still, it would’ve been a pain to have to dig up those documents up after the fact and send them over separately.