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 2018 returns to assist you in organizing your data.  This organizer contains certain information from your 2017 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 15, 2019).

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:
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION

Please ensure that we have the following information in our files.

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. Number of days in the U.S

6. 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.

Sources of Income

EMPLOYEE INFORMATION

-All income as outlined on Form W-2(s) or T4's
-Stock option details

SELF-EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION

-Income as outlined on Form 1099(s) or T4A's
-Schedule K-1(s)
-Income records for amounts not included on Form 1099(MISC)
-Expense records paid in 2018 which relate to your self-employment business
-Business-use asset information for depreciation purposes (Cost, date placed in service)

SAVINGS & INVESTMENT OR DIVIDEND INFORMATION

-Interest and dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV) 
-Income from sale of stocks or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)
-Date of acquisition and records of cost or basis in property you sold
-Health Savings Account and long-term care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)
-Record or estimated tax payments made (Form 1040ES)
-Details of capital transactions for the year (sales of stocks, bonds, other capital property)


RENTAL INCOME

-Record of gross income and expenses
-Rental asset information for depreciation purposes (Cost, date placed in service)
-Record of estimated tax payments

RETIREMENT INCOME

-Pension/IRA/Annuity income as outlined on Form 1099-R(s) or T4A's
-Social security or Canada Pension Plan income as outlined on Form 1099-SSA(s) or T4A(OAS)/ T4A(CPP)

OTHER INCOME

-Gambling income (W-2G or records showing income and expenses)
-Jury duty records
-Hobby income and expenses
-Prizes and awards
-Royalty or trust Income (1099-MISC)
-Any other 1099's received
Record of alimony paid/received with Ex-spouse name and SSN


Types of Deductions

 

HOME OWNERSHIP


-Forms 1098 or other mortgage interest statements

-Real estate and personal property tax records (Note:  Foreign property items are not deductible as itemized deductions - only for rental properties).

-Receipts for energy-saving home improvements

 

CHARITABLE DONATIONS

-Cash amounts donated to charitable organizations
-Records of non-cash charitable donations
-Amounts of miles driven for charitable or medical purposes

MEDICAL EXPENSES

-Amounts paid for healthcare insurance, doctors, dentists and hospitals

HEALTH INSURANCE

-Form 1095-A if you are enrolled with the Marketplace insurance plan
-Form 1095-B and/or 1095-C if you had insurance coverage through other sources
-Marketplace exemption certificate if applicable

CHILDCARE EXPENSES

-Fees paid to a licensed day care center for infant or preschooler
-Wages paid to a baby-sitter

EDUCATIONAL EXPENSES

-Forms 1098-T from educational institutions
-Records of any scholarships or fellowship you received
-Form 1098-E - paid student loan interest

RETIREMENT & OTHER SAVINGS

-Form 5498-SA -HSA contributions
-Form 5498 - IRS contributions



U.S Foreign Financial and/or Foreign Controlled Corporation information reporting

1. Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting (FBAR's) - Form 114  must be filed if the aggregate maximum values of your foreign financial accounts (outside the U.S) exceed $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
The new annual due date for FBAR filing is April 15 to coincide with the federal income tax filing deadline.   FinCEN will grant an automatic extension to October 15 each year.

All foreign (non US) bank and financial accounts that you have signing authority over must be reported, including retirement accounts.

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

2. Reporting for Foreign Grantor Trusts - Form 3520A (Filing deadline - March 15, 2019)  i.e. Canadian RESP(s) and TFSA(s)  Click here for more information for foreign grantor trusts. 

 Please contact us if you will require an extension of this return. (IRS will impose a civil penalty of $10,000 for late filing of Form 3520A and an additional $10,000 for late filing of Form 3520).

 a) For Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) accounts
- Year end statement for the RESP
- Amount and type of income earned in 2018 within the plan
- Date plan established
- Your total contributions to date, including grants, plus the contributions made during 2018
- Reference ID. Or Employer Identification number of the foreign trust

 b) For Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) Accounts:
- Year end statement for the TFSA
- Amount and type of income earned in 2018 within the plan
- Date plan established
- Your total contributions to date, including contributions made during 2018- Reference ID. Or Employer Identification number of the foreign trust


3. 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.

4. Foreign Controlled Corporations: US citizens and residents who are officers, directors or shareholders in foreign corporations have additional filing requirements. 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.

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


For Canadian Returns


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.