Wednesday, January 7, 2015


1. Make a list of places you expect to receive documents from. These include W-2s, interest and dividend statements, pension statements, mortgage lenders. If you don't receive these by the first week in February, contact them.

2. Have you moved recently? Be sure all those people in #1 know how to find you.

3. Do you need to issue a Form 1099-Misc to anyone? They should be mailed by January 31. Don't forget household and domestic workers, freelancers, etc.

4. Get proof of your health insurance coverage and that of your family members. Along with this, you will need to know the income of all members of the household in order to compute the health care credit or penalty. Many taxpayers will receive the new Form 1095-A Marketplace Tax Form.

5. Change your name in 2014 because of marriage, divorce, or just for fun? You need to update your name with Social Security. Until you change the name on your Social Security card, use your previous name on your tax return. Don’t worry about the name on the W-2 or 1099 not matching the tax return.

6. There are new rules about depreciating vs. capitalizing property that takes effect for the 2014 tax returns. They are called uniform capitalization rules. What does that mean to you? The good news: if you have not claimed depreciation on assets, but should have, you will be able to catch up on all the lost depreciation at once. That could mean a generous tax deduction on your business or rental.

The bad news: practically everyone who is now, or should have been, depreciating anything will have to attach a Form 3115 to make an election (a declaration) that they will be opting into the IRS’s new capitalization rules. It’s complicated. You may need professional guidance for this one.