U.S. Tax Notebook Entry

 

The Tax Return Data Collection Process:

Enter the Tax Notebook Enter U.S. Tax Notebook here.
(Note:  This page is for entry of information for the preparation of U.S. returns only.  For Canadian Returns, click here.)

The preparation of income tax returns is based on the following steps.  Please note that all information provided to our firm is held in the strictest confidence in accordance with our Privacy Policy:

  1. Collection of prior year income tax returns.

    In order that we may properly understand your filing circumstances and carry forward amounts, it is essential that we have a copy of your returns for the prior year.  For existing clients for whom we have prepared returns, we already have this information.

    Existing Clients:  Please provide copies of assessments or government correspondence received for prior years, by logging into your secure folder to upload new information.

    Please contact us if you would like us to set up a secure folder access password for you.

    New Clients:  Please provide a copy of your prior year return in order that we may set up your current file.  You may upload it to our secure upload server.
  2. Provide current year information.
    1. For existing clients we have uploaded a paper organizer for 2016 returns to assist you in organizing your data.  This organizer contains certain information from your 2015 return which you may use for comparison purposes.  You may complete this organizer and return it to us.
    2. Alternatively, you may use our on line Tax Notebook program.  If you would like to use this free resource, please contact us to request a Tax Notebook user ID and password, and then log in at the following link:
      US Tax Notebook


Existing Clients:  Your Tax Notebook will be populated with your prior year return data to assist you in assembling this year's data.

New Clients:  You may use the Tax Notebook to create a new file by clicking on the "new client" link at the right side of the page.

Once you complete the Tax Notebook, you may upload copies of  your tax slips, (W2's, 1099's, 1098, etc.) to us to your secure folder or our general secure upload server.

Please note that the paper organizer and our Tax Notebook program are designed for your convenience only, and you are not required to complete either one.  You may simply send us your current year data and we will take it from there.

What Information is Needed for Tax Return Preparation?

Secure File Sync and Sharing Service

- All information should be delivered to our Toronto office by courier or registered mail or you may upload to your secure folder by clicking here. If you do not have a secure folder user name and password, please contact us and we will gladly set one up for you.

Prepaid Audit Assurance Program - Over the past year, Internal Revenue Service has stepped up efforts to ensure compliance with the Foreign Bank Account Reporting rules, and have increased audit activity for more sensitive return areas. We have ensured that our existing clients have filed the appropriate reports. In response to this increased audit risk, we have introduced our “Prepaid Audit Assurance Program" under which we will cover any audit responses required without additional cost.

We are here to assist you and provide you with optimal income tax solutions. If at any time you require further information concerning what should be collected to send us, please do not hesitate to call us.

General Tax Information Checklist:

Please contact us for any clarification or questions

In order that we may expedite the processing of your individual income tax returns, we have prepared the following checklist of items which we normally need to have on hand to complete the returns. Please note that many of the items may not specifically apply to you, since this intended to be a checklist for many people to follow. We ask that you provide information for yourself and/or your spouse and dependent children in all instances, since filing status may change depending on the income or other issues pertaining to your family members.

For U.S. Returns:
(Filing deadline - April 18, 2017).

If you do not have all information on time, please request that we file for an extension. We will only do so upon your request, and if we receive sufficient information prior to the deadline. Please send information as early as possible.

If you do not have all information on time, please request that we file for an extension. We will only do so upon your request, and if we receive sufficient information prior to the deadline. Please send information as early as possible.

Please ensure that we have the following information in our files. If you have previously sent us a copy of prior year returns or have otherwise provided the information, no further action is required:

1. Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for all persons in your family.

2. Dates of birth for all persons in the family.

3. Correct current address.

4. Prior year income tax return(s) (if filed).

5. Details of estimated payments (federal and state) made during the year.

Current Year U.S. Information:

 

6. Healthcare Coverage (health insurance) provide details of coverage for you, your spouse and dependents.  Forms 1095-A, 1095-B and/or 1095-C

7. All income for the year as outlined on Form(s) W-2, 1099, etc.

8. All interest and dividends for the year as on Form(s) 1099 and other sources.

9. Details of any other income including pensions, tips, etc.

10. Gross income and expenses detailed for each business venture and for each rental property.

11. Details of itemized deductions, including medical expenses, realty taxes, interest, donations and unreimbursed employee expenses.

12. Details for all capital transactions, including date of purchase, purchase amount, date of sale, sale amount, name of security, and number of shares/units.

13. Number of days present in each state (if not resident in one state) during the year, and number of days present outside the United States, including specific dates.

 

Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting (FBAR's) All foreign (non US) bank and financial accounts that you have signing authority over must be reported, including retirement accounts.

Effective for the 2016 taxation year, the FBAR filing deadline will be moved forward to April 18 (i.e. the 2016 FBAR Form 114 will be due April 18, 2017). The new FBAR deadline will follow the extension rules similar to those for U.S. personal income tax filings.

14. Details of all foreign (non U.S.) bank and financial accounts, including RRSP(s), TFSA(s) and RESP(s)
- Bank Name and Address
- Account number
- Account owner(s)
- Approx. maximum balance during the year.

15. Reporting for Foreign Grantor Trusts – i.e. Canadian RESP(s) and TFSA(s)

Click here for more information for foreign grantor trusts.


Filing deadline - March 15, 2017.  If you do not have all information on time, please request that we file for an extension.


a) For Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) accounts
- Amount and type of income earned in 2016 within the plan
- Date plan established
- Your total contributions to date, including grants, plus the contributions made during 2016
- Reference ID. Or Employer Identification number of the foreign trust

- Year end statement for the RESP


NOTE: The filing deadline for 2016 Form 3520A(s) (Annual Information Return of a Foreign Trust with a US Owner) is March 15, 2017, unless an extension is applied for before that date. Please contact us if you will require an extension of this return, and we will file it for you. (IRS may impose a civil penalty of $10,000 for late filing of Form 3520A).

b) For Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) Accounts:
- Amount and type of income earned in 2016 within the plan
- Date plan established
- Your total contributions to date, including contributions made during 2016
- Reference ID. Or Employer Identification number of the foreign trust

- Year end statement for the TFSA

 NOTE: The filing deadline for 2016 Form 3520A(s) (Annual Information Return of a Foreign Trust with a US Owner) is March 15, 2017, unless an extension is applied for before that date. Please contact us if you will require an extension of this return, and we will file it for you. (IRS may imposes a maximum penalty of $10,000 for late filing of Form 3520A).

16. Foreign Pooled Investments such as mutual funds, ETF’s and REIT’s are considered Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFIC's) if they are held outside of RRSP's. Form 8621 (Information Return of a Passive Foreign Investment) may be required for each fund you own. Please follow this link to determine if you have a PFIC's, and what information is required for filing.

17. Details of contributions to retirement plans.

18. Details of stock options.

19. Number of days in the U.S. in 2016

20. Do you own over 10% of a foreign (non U.S.) corporation?  Is it controlled by U.S. persons? If so, please check this link.

The above list is not intended to be comprehensive, but should serve as a general checklist for you. In many situations, other income or expense items may be relevant, as well as moving expenses, tuition fees and other issues.

 

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For Canadian Returns

Overall:

The above list is not intended to be comprehensive, but should serve as a general checklist for you. In many situations, other income or expense items may be relevant, as well as moving expenses, tuition fees and other issues.

If you require more information, please contact us at any time.