Time to leg down figures for stock basis, work expenses, child-care credit.
1. Investment 1099s are coming: But wait! Don't file your return yet. You still don't have the correct 1099-Bs for your investments. Your brokerage or investment house was given additional time to send them out you. Their mailing deadline is February 17. Have you been stung in the past by having filed your tax return based on the first set of 1099s you received, only to get the corrected set later? This should eliminate the need to wait for the corrections.
Your new broker doesn't have the purchase information of the original stocks. Do you have it? Can you still get into your old account online to get the information? You're going to need the basis on all the securities that were transferred.
Naturally, for your 2008 tax return, you only need the basis for the securities you sold in 2008. But while you're getting that information, you may as well get the basis for everything that was transferred and enter it into your new account.Check with your brokerage, or accounting software. You may already have access to it for free.
Remember, the basis won't necessarily be the cost of the security. It may have split, or reverse split. You may have reinvested dividends. Did you keep track of those costs for the additional shares?
Remember to look for union dues, payments for tools, equipment or other supplies. You may be able to use them as employee business expenses.If you're working with a tax professional, remember to let him or her know about these expenses that don't appear in your checkbook and credit card statements.
4. Reimbursed expenses at work: Are you paying taxes on your reimbursements? Reimbursed expenses have become contentious in the last couple of years. Employees are finding some reimbursements added to taxable wages - with all the Social Security and Medicare deductions applied.
Don't enter the reimbursements you've received on line 7, since you've already paid tax on those reimbursements. Use the Form 2106 instructions for guidance.
Incidentally, you wouldn't need to go through this extra work if your company had an accountable reimbursement plan. When all your reimbursements are on the basis of expense reports you submit to your company, you don't get taxed on the reimbursements. The numbers never appear in wages, W-2s, or your tax return. Perhaps you can convince your employer to implement an accountable plan? See this IRS page for more information.