What forms to give your tax accountant

Your W-2 form is the most important document for tax time.

Your W-2 form is the most important document for tax time.

If you hire an accountant to prepare your annual tax return, be sure to give him or her with all appropriate documents. Providing the right paperwork will speed your accountant's job and can mean a lower tax bill or higher refund.

Here are some forms you may need to provide to an accountant or tax consultant:

W-2 forms

W-2 forms are the most important tax forms. These show how much you earned in a year and what taxes and other deductions were taken out. If the salary listed on your tax return doesn't match your W-2 form, you may be audited.

1099 forms

Not everyone has 1099s, but if you do they are important to provide your accountant. Here are examples of 1099 forms:

  • 1099-MISC: If you're an independent contractor or self-employed, you need to file a 1099-MISC form to report any miscellaneous income.
  • 1099-INT and 1099-DIV: These report your interest income and dividend income.
  • 1099-B: shows brokerage trade in stocks and bonds.
  • 1099-S: reports your received social security income.

K-1 form

The K-1 form is used if you have income from a partnership, small business or trust.

Other documents

You may also have forms beside W-2s or 1099s that are important to provide your accountant. These can include documents that prove any rental income or alimony that needs to be reported on your return. You should also bring proof of expenses, including such documents as canceled checks, receipts or spreadsheets. Everyone's expenses are different, but some common ones are college, medical expenses, real estate taxes, gifts to charity and child care costs.

These documents are important to assemble a complete and correct return. If you're missing something, be sure to contact your employer or the IRS to obtain copies before meeting with an accountant.

When you hire an accountant, be sure to ask for proof of proper credentials, licensing and insurance. Ask for and check references. ax laws change rapidly and it's hard to keep up, but it's your accountant's job to know stay up to date. A reputable, knowledgeable accountant will ensure that your tax return meets all legal requirements while you receive the maximum possible refund.

Providing the right documents will make your accountant's job easier and give you the best shot at the lowest tax bill and best refund. Consider also how Angie's List can help. Members have access to local consumer reviews on accountants and service providers in more than 550 other categories.

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