FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions at our office.

Click on the + (on the right hand side) of each question to show the answers below.

What do I need for my appointment?
  • Wage statements/W-2s
  • Self-employment business income and expenses/1099-MISC
  • Pension, retirement income/1099-R
  • Unemployment income/1099-G
  • Canceled Debt Amount/1099-C
  • Social Security income/SSA-1099
  • Statements on the sales of stocks or bonds/1099-B
  • Interest and dividend income /1099-INT/1099-DIV
  • Gambling winnings
  • Income and expenses from rentals
  • Alimony paid or received
  • Record of purchase or sale of residence
  • Medical and dental expenses (if expected to exceed 7.5% of your total income)
  • Real estate taxes paid
  • Receipts for charitable donations
  • Mortgage or home equity loan interest/1098
  • Tuition and Education Fees/1098-T
  • Student loan interest/1098-E
  • Child care expenses and provider information

NEW CLIENT? If you are a new client, please review our New Client Information page.
ALL CLIENTS: If you have any questions, feel free to contact us before your appointment.

Should I file jointly or separately?

This is one of the most common questions for tax payers, especially newlyweds. In the vast majority of cases, it is far more beneficial to file Married Filing Jointly than Married Filing Separately. You are not allowed to file Single once you are married. Your marital status is determined on the last day of the year (meaning if you got married on December 31st, for tax purposes you are considered to have been married for the entire year). As a service to all of our married clients, we will figure out which method works better for you. As even though most of the time it’s better to file jointly, there are special circumstances where filing separately can have a benefit. The one we see most often, is when one spouse needs to reduce their student loan payments. We are happy to help you with this process and will provide the advice you need to make the right decision.

I just had a baby. What documents do I need?

Congratulations! In addition to your usual tax documents, we will need the child’s full name, date of birth, social security number, along with a statement or bill from their pediatrician, day care, dentist, or hospital showing their name and your address. This is a new federal regulation required to receive the child tax credit. If you had day care expenses, please have the amount paid, the name, address, phone number and federal ID number of the day care center (or social security number if an individual provided the service).

I just bought a house. What paperwork do I need?

In addition to the usual documents, like your W-2’s and 1099’s, you will expect to receive form 1098-INT if you made any mortgage payments during the tax year. Bring that form along, as well as the ‘Closing Disclosure’ you received when you purchased your home. It is a form (approximately 5 or 6 pages long) that has many tax deductions and can prove quite beneficial to your refund. If you made energy efficient improvements to your home, please bring those receipts, because there may be federal and/or state credits available. For other improvements, please add up the total spent on major improvements for the year, as it is wise to capitalize these expenses should when you sell your home the sale be taxable. Cost capitalization is something we provide free of charge to all of our clients.

I am a Railroad Employee. What paperwork do I need?

Yes, please check out our Railroad Employee Tax Preparation page.

I am a Teacher. What paperwork do I need?

In addition to the usual documents, like your W-2’s and 1099’s, please also have totaled up any supplies you have purchased for the classroom so you can receive the maximum educator’s expense deduction. Also, if work requires you to have a computer, please add up the total cost for your internet service provider and if you purchased a new computer last year let us know the amount you paid and the date of purchase. Next, please bring a final pay stub which should show the amount of union dues you paid last year. Last, if you did any coaching, chaperoning, or other after school volunteer activities and you used your own vehicle for travel, be sure to ask me about the mileage deduction to which you may be entitled.

I am a Police Officer / Law Enforcement. What paperwork do I need?

In addition to the usual documents, like your W-2’s and 1099’s, please also have your final pay stub which will show your union dues for the year. If you made work purchases, including but not limited to a new weapon, vest, cuffs, uniform, or dry cleaning, please have that information available. If you are on call or required to have a cell phone for work purposes, please add up that portion of your cell phone bills. Likewise, if you’re required to have your own computer, please add up the total cost for your internet service provider and if you purchased a new computer last year let us know the amount you paid and the date of purchase. If you regularly appear in court and use your own vehicle to drive, that mileage may be deductible. Christopher will detail the record keeping requirements, so you can get the best possible deduction.

I have rental income. What paperwork do I need?

In addition to your usual personal income tax documents, such as your W-2’s and 1099’s, please add up each of the following categories for the year:

  • Rents collected
  • Advertising expenses
  • Management Fees
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Mortgage interest
  • Property taxes
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Home owner’s insurance
  • Lawyers and accounting fees
  • Minor repairs (things you expect to do yearly)
  • Utilities and user fees
  • For major improvements or appliance purchases, do not combine them into a single total. Keep these expenses separate so we can properly depreciate them.

For the vehicle that you use for servicing the rental, your mileage will be deductible. Christopher will detail the record keeping requirements, so you can get the best possible deduction.

I am a Sole Proprietor (Schedule C). What paperwork do I need?

In addition to your usual personal income tax documents, such as your W-2’s and 1099’s, please add up each of the following categories for the year:

  • Advertising
  • Commissions and fees
  • Contract labor (we will help you file your 1099’s if needed)
  • Business insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Legal and professional fees
  • Office supplies and expenses
  • Postage
  • Repairs and maintenance of business equipment
  • Supplies (not inventory)
  • Government fees and licenses
  • Meal and entertainment and expenses (Christopher will discuss record keeping and deductibility with you)
  • Utilities
  • Cell phone expenses
  • Internet service provider cost
  • Web hosting and design
  • Data and cloud services
  • Wages
  • Payroll taxes
  • Major purchases (do not total these, instead give them to us individually with the date and amount)

The mileage on your business vehicle(s) is deductible. Christopher will explain the record keeping requirements, so you can get the best possible deduction. This is one of the largest deductions for self employed individuals. Feel free to call our office at 1-800-691-7330 if you have any questions regarding this.

I have a Partnership / S Corp. What paperwork do I need?

In addition to your usual personal income tax documents, such as your W-2’s and 1099’s, please add up each of the following categories for the year:

  • Advertising
  • Commissions and fees
  • Contract labor (we will help you file your 1099’s if needed)
  • Business insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Legal and professional fees
  • Office supplies and expenses
  • Postage
  • Repairs and maintenance of business equipment
  • Supplies (not inventory)
  • Government fees and licenses
  • Meal and entertainment and expenses (Christopher will discuss record keeping and deductibility with you)
  • Utilities
  • Cell phone expenses
  • Internet service provider cost
  • Web hosting and design
  • Data and cloud services
  • Wages
  • Payroll taxes
  • Major purchases (do not total these, instead give them to us individually with the date and amount)
  • Wages paid to yourself or draws from the businesses

The mileage on all business vehicles is deductible. Christopher will explain the record keeping requirements, so you can get the best possible deduction. This is one of the largest deductions for businesses. Feel free to call our office at 1-800-691-7330 if you have any questions regarding this.

And please don’t forget to bring to bring your books. Whatever system you use we can work with.

Buffalo Tax Service

Professional Income Tax Preparation for Individuals and Businesses

© Buffalo Tax Service