This is the time of year when we dream about sailing through the Caribbean or island hopping on a cruise ship. So, what’s stopping us? The tax filing deadline for one. Now that 2021 is over we are faced with the overwhelming task of gathering information needed for tax returns. A daily money manager can save you the time and stress spent looking for records and summarizing tax data. A few daily money managers prepare income tax returns, but any daily money manager can be of great value in pulling together the information your tax preparer needs in a timely manner. Here are a few examples.
Did your tax preparer send you a 10-page organizer to complete?
Tax preparers want to make sure they have every tidbit of information that may affect your tax return so most of them send their clients a long, detailed form to complete. This organizer is time consuming to fill out and often confusing. Your daily money manager is familiar with both your situation and tax terminology so can assist you in completing the organizer quickly and easily.
Are you unsure what records your tax preparer needs?
Forms 1099 INT, W-2, K-1, SSA 1099, 1099 B, 1098, 1095-A, and year end statements will soon flood your mailbox or email. Your daily money manager can corral these wayward forms and make sure you received them all before submitting your information to your tax preparer. Listing every possible itemized deduction is tedious and time consuming and may be unnecessary if the standard deduction is higher. Your daily money manager will know what is deductible and whether you even need to itemize. Many daily money managers track deductible expenses during the year and will have that information at hand when you need it.
Do you need a new tax preparer?
If your trusted tax preparer retired or you moved to a new state, a daily money manager can make a recommendation for someone to prepare your returns and assist with gathering the records needed to file in both states.
Do you have a small business, rental property, or trust?
The recordkeeping requirements and deductions for businesses, rental property, and trusts are more stringent than personal recordkeeping. A daily money manager can categorize and summarize these transactions for you to submit to the tax preparer. This not only speeds up the preparation of your tax return but can save you money on tax preparation fees.
Every tax year brings changes, and 2021 returns are no different. Here are a few items to watch for this year:
- The 3rd Economic Impact Payment was approved March 11, 2021, and payments began going out later that month. This was an advance on the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit and if you received less than the full amount, you may be eligible for an additional credit on your 2021 tax return. Review your records to confirm the amount you received.
- If you received, sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of any virtual currency during 2021 you will need to report the details of those transactions on your income tax return. The reporting rules have not changed from prior years, but the IRS has changed the wording of the question asked on form 1040 so read it carefully.
- Even if you don’t itemize deductions, you can deduct up to $300 ($600 if filing jointly) for contributions made in 2021 to qualifying charities as long as the donations were made by cash, check or credit card. Your tax preparer or daily money manager can tell you if a certain charitable organization qualifies. Special recordkeeping rules apply for charitable contribution deductions, so ask your daily money manager for help with supporting documentation.
- Child tax credits have been expanded and a partial advance on the credit was sent automatically to families during 2021. Half of the total credit is being paid in advance and the other half can be claimed on your 2021 income tax return.
- Due dates for income tax returns:
- For partnerships and S corporations: March 15, 2022
- For individuals, trusts, and corporations April 18, 2022
If you don’t already have a daily money manager, tax time is a great time to find one. Check the member directory of the American Association of Daily Money Managers at https://secure.aadmm.com/find-a-dmm/. Then you can relax and get back to dreaming about sailing in the Caribbean.
Elizabeth Zeldes, CPA, CDMM has been a daily money manager and tax preparer for over 25 years. She is the manager of CPA for Seniors at Rivertown Finance LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serving clients in Michigan and throughout the US. Elizabeth is a long-time member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers and serves on their Public Awareness Committee. You can find her at Elizabeth Zeldes, CPA, CDMM