Robert Duda’s 2014 Tax Time Document Chase List

Just a little over two weeks from now, we will begin filing client tax returns to the IRS (electronically), and our Troy & Nearby Cities tax preparer offices will be jumping.

–> And by the way, though we aren’t *filing* until the 31st, we at Team Duda ARE working (right now, in fact) on client files. This filing delay does NOT mean that we can’t work with you (or, in some cases, perhaps help you obtain an advance on a refund), if you pull together your paperwork before that point. Call us: (248) 528-1799 if you’d like to hear about those options. <–

So, while our Troy & Nearby Cities tax preparer offices are starting to jump, don’t pity us, of course! This is, after all, exactly what we have been preparing for over the past seven months or so — and we’re pretty excited to see the fruition of our labors, AND to “seal the deal” on a variety of tax-saving maneuvers to which we’ve directed clients over the past year. In short, this is really fun for us here at Team Duda.

But filing your taxes on your own is becoming much less fun for regular Troy & Nearby Cities taxpayers, even with nice-looking softwares on the market which purport to make it “easy” for you.

I truly do pity those inexperienced ones who try to muddle through all of the different codes and forms on their own,without devoting even a week’s labor to the transaction. It really doesn’t pay to “go it alone” for certain tasks.

So, for those of you who want our help, I’ve put together a handy little list of what you’ll need to bring in. There may be certain situations where we’ll need other documentation to get you even more deductions. But, of course, we’ll let you know about that, should the situation arise!

Let me know your thoughts … and of course, if you’d like to talk this over with us, we’re here for you ((248) 528-1799)!

Robert Duda’s 2014 Tax Time Document Chase List
“Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” -Jack Canfield

Yes, this is a long list — but it’s the unfortunate reality of our tax code that it’s not even comprehensive! But these items will cover 95% of our Troy & Nearby Cities tax preparation clients.  Really, this is for ensuring that we’re able to help you keep every dollar you can keep under our tax code.

Even if for some strange reason you won’t be using our cost-effective services this year, feel free to use this list as a handy guide…

Personal Data
Social Security Numbers (including spouse and children)
Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number

Employment & Income Data
W-2 forms for this year
Tax refunds and unemployment compensation: Form 1099-G
Miscellaneous income including rent: Form 1099-MISC
Partnership and trust income
Pensions and annuities
Alimony received
Jury duty pay
Gambling and lottery winnings
Prizes and awards
Scholarships and fellowships
State and local income tax refunds
Unemployment compensation

Homeowner/Renter Data
Residential address(es) for this year
Mortgage interest: Form 1098
Sale of your home or other real estate: Form 1099-S
Second mortgage interest paid
Real estate taxes paid
Rent paid during tax year
Moving expenses

Financial Assets
Interest income statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OID
Dividend income statements: Form 1099-DIV
Proceeds from broker transactions: Form 1099-B
Retirement plan distribution: Form 1099-R
Capital gains or losses

Financial Liabilities
Auto loans and leases (account numbers and car value) if vehicle used for business
Student loan interest paid
Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other fixed time deposits

Automobiles
Personal property tax information
Department of Motor Vehicles fees

Expenses
Gifts to charity (receipts for any single donations of $250 or more)
Unreimbursed expenses related to volunteer work
Unreimbursed expenses related to your job (travel expenses, entertainment, uniforms, union dues, subscriptions)
Investment expenses
Job-hunting expenses
Education expenses (tuition and fees)
Child care expenses
Medical Savings Accounts
Adoption expenses
Alimony paid
Tax return preparation expenses and fees

Self-Employment Data
Estimated tax vouchers for the current year
Self-employment tax
Self-employment SEP plans
Self-employed health insurance
K-1s on all partnerships
Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses
Farm income

Deduction Documents
State and local income taxes
IRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributions
Medical expenses
Casualty or theft losses
Other miscellaneous deductions

We hope this helps, and we really look forward to seeing you in here in 2014!

++++++++

To your family’s financial and emotional peace…

Warmly,

Robert Duda
(248) 528-1799

Personal Note From Robert Duda: A Holiday Prayer For All of Us

It’s Monday the 23rd, as I write this here at Troy & Nearby Cities tax preparation headquarters, and many of our clients and friends are gearing up for a week of family and merriment, with a side dish of a little stress thrown in for good measure!

I’m very aware that the holidays are a time of joy for many here in the Troy & Nearby Cities area, as well as a time of pain, for a significant portion of my readers as well.

Missing loved ones, loneliness, and pain can sometimes be the most prominent decorations of this season, and if that’s the case for you, know that you are not alone, and that you are loved and appreciated.

Not just by us here at Team Duda, but undoubtedly by more people than you could possibly imagine. THAT is the bottom-line, real-world truth, whether you believe it or not right now.

And, while I often write about important financial and tax-related matters in this, my weekly Troy & Nearby Cities tax preparation Note, I thought I’d share with you my annual prayer for the holidays. It’s worth printing and clipping near your monitor, so you can remember it, even beyond this week. I can’t take credit for its authorship, and I don’t honestly remember where I got it. But it’s good.

So, I’ll save the tax and financial stuff for another time. In the meantime, join me … here:

Personal Note From Robert Duda: A Holiday Prayer For All of Us
“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.” -St. Augustine

“God, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

“Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

“Remind us, Lord, that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares …

“Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

“Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love. ”

Amen.

Best to you and yours this week. May your season be truly bright.

Warmly,

Robert Duda
(248) 528-1799

Let’s Start a Conversation…

Let’s Start a Conversation…

Robert Duba here, your tax professional.

I know that we haven’t posted much before, but starting this week I’m hoping that you and I can have a conversation.

You see, there hasn’t been an environment like the one we’re now facing in this economy and in our nation for quite a while. The fact is-I know you’ve got questions…about personal financial strategy, about tax specifics and about how to steer your way through these times we’re living in.

Not Just “Tax Tips”…

I won’t pretend to have ALL the answers, but I’m going to do my best to give you information from the “real world”. Yes, there’s a lot of so-called “experts” out there (theorists, authors, or multi-millionaire “gurus”) who make it their job to spout opinion.

But more often than not, they don’t know what it’s like to face the things that you and I face-right here.

I also want to give YOU the chance to contact my staff and me about questions you’ve been having. I’ve found over the years that people generally want more (not less) from their tax professional in terms of communication and relationship. So you’ll be hearing from us more.

Bottom line: starting this week, we’ll be making a major effort to keep in touch with you on a weekly basis-offering “Real World” Personal Strategy (not just pie-in-the-sky theory) and guidance for growing wealth, keeping sane in this world, and all-around personal development.

And it will NOT be just tax tips (it’s our job to take care of all that for you anyway). Sure, there will be tax items you’ll need to know about-which we’ll send your way-but I believe you’ll find these notes to be interesting and useful on a variety of levels.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Robert Duba’s

“Real World” Personal Strategy

True Wealth / Getting To Know You

In the coming weeks, we’ll add more to this space…but now, in this first week-a thought and a question for you:

Thought: Learning to be content in all circumstances is the foundation for generating real wealth, especially in this economy.

Why do I say this? Well, it’s my job to help people “ride out the storms” in their financial life. And I’ve noticed a very real difference between those that handle it well…and those that, well, don’t.

See, relative to their income, the rich are frugal. They save and invest. They spend less than 65% of their take-home pay on day-to-day expenses. They save at least 10% in their retirement accounts and another 5% in taxable savings. They direct another 10% toward unknown big purchases. And they even live frugally enough to give another generous 10% to charities.

Now-remember when I said this would be “real world”? The fact is, I know that you may not be even close to this, and you could even be feeling guilty right about now. That’s the LAST thing I want to do to you, but here’s what you CAN do right now:

Set it as your personal goal to increase (or start) your household money moving in these directions: 1) savings 2) retirement 3) short-term (big purchase like a car or furniture) savings and 4) giving. This week, choose ONE of these categories and move money there, however small the amount. Then, when you do so-let somebody know you did it. Not to brag, but to settle it into your mind.

You’ll find that taking a positive direction in one of these areas-even if it’s just a measly 5 bucks-will go a long way to increase your peace of mind.

And with THAT peace of mind, you’ll handle the upcoming storms real well.

That’s the Real World, my friend.

And finally, my Question: How could my staff and I serve you better? Would you take a moment right now, to reply to this email with one of two things for me?

Either…

A) Let us know what kind of service you’d like to see us provide for you and your family in the future, which we are not currently providing you.

Or

B) Would you write me a quick note about how well we’ve already served you? Lots of people like you are looking for a good tax professional-and we’ve found that what people really want to know is what other people say about us, not what we say about ourselves. Your note would really help!

Thanks! To your success,

Robert Duba

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