Investments and Tax Season

Investments and Tax Season
Tax season is upon us. Earnings from taxable investments need to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Getting your investment papers gathered and organized is one of the critical first steps.

Banks, brokerages, and mutual fund companies are all required to send out tax statements to you. You will receive different tax statements depending on which investments you own. Standard tax forms include the 1099-INT for interest earned and the 1099-DIV for dividends earned. Capital gains, also, will be recorded on Form 1099-DIV.

It is important to gather all forms needed together. Keep these forms in a file folder with a label such as taxes. You can also set up a file on your computer to save the forms you receive electronically.

Next, consider if you have any investments that you have sold without receiving a tax form. Have you sold an antique or collectible for a profit perhaps on EBay, etc.? Anything you own that is sold for a gain is required to have taxes paid on it. Most gains are reported on Schedule D, but you should consult with a tax professional regarding any tax reporting.

Savings bonds require tax to be paid as well. You most likely received a form when you redeemed your bond. This form is needed when completing your taxes for the year you sold your bond.

You will need to provide a cost basis for stocks, bonds, and mutual funds you have purchased and then sold. This applies to exchange-traded funds as well. Brokerages and financial institutions usually calculate this for you. But it is a good idea to keep a main record of all your purchases and their cost basis. This will ensure that you can check the accuracy of the cost basis that was reported. Also, it reduces stress and worry at tax time by avoiding that hunt for information.

Have you contributed to your IRA for last year? You have until April 15th of the current tax year to make a contribution for the prior year. These contributions can help ease your tax burden and create more future security. You may even be able to take a credit if you contributed to a Roth IRA.

A little organization and preparation can make tax season go more smoothly. A tax professional should be consulted in regards to preparing your tax return. The information presented here is for education only.

Are you interested in a simple portfolio to save for retirement? Please check out my book on building a simple retirement portfolio that is available at
Investing $10K in 2014 (Sandra's Investing Basics)

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