It’s income tax time

December 2019/January 2020

Howard Abrams


Q: I’m going to be very busy this coming February and March. I would like for you to list what I would need for my income tax preparation.

A: Listed below are items you will need for your income tax preparation. Most tax preparers should have an income tax organizer that lists what would be needed.

Items needed by your tax preparer:

  1. W-2s from employers
  2. 1099s from all companies or individuals you’ve done work for – brokers, motor carriers, independent businesses, etc. Weekly or monthly settlements, if we are summarizing.
  3. 1099s or end-of-year statements from banks or brokers for interest and dividend income, stock sales and mutual funds.
  4. Schedule K-1 if you are involved in any partnerships or S corporations.
  5. W-2P or 1099R for pension and annuity income along with 401(k) and IRA distributions.
  6. 1099s and year-end statements for unemployment compensation, Social Security income and state income tax refund.
  7. 1098s for mortgage interest paid.
  8. Nights away from home to compute the per diem deduction.
  9. Determine if you have or are going to make any contributions to a retirement plan.
  10. Simple IRAs, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs must be established by the original tax filing deadline of April 15.
  11. You must fund and/or contribute to your SIMPLE IRAs, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs by the original tax filing deadline of April 15. (Tax-filing extensions do not apply to your IRA contributions, except for SEP-IRA contributions. This means that your contributions must be deposited by your tax filing due date, which is usually April 15.)
  12. Indicate any estimated taxes paid with corresponding dates.

Here are a few other things you’ll need:

  1. Contracts for the purchase or sale of equipment.
  2. Escrow statements for the purchase, sale or refinance of property.
  3. Confirmations from charities for donations in excess of $250.

Remember, if you have employees or independent contractors, you are also required to send out your W-2s and 1099s by Jan. 31. This includes self-employed individuals who have hired their children to do work for their business. You must issue W-2s to your children to get the deduction.

Q: How much can I contribute to my year-end plans?

A: The maximum amount workers can contribute to a 401(k) for 2019 is $19,000 if they’re younger than age 50. That’s a $500 increase from 2018. Workers age 50 and older can add an extra $6,000 per year in catch-up contributions, bringing their total 401(k) contributions for 2019 to $25,000.

Total annual contributions to your traditional and Roth IRAs combined cannot exceed:

(Under 50)                          (Age 50+)

2018:   $5,500                     $6,500

2019:   $6,000                     $7,000

For a SEP IRA in 2019, you can contribute up to 25% of an eligible employee’s compensation, up to a limit of $56,000. That amount is increased by $1,000 from 2018.

Editor’s note: You can download a tax organizer from PBS at LL

This article has been presented by PBS Tax and Bookkeeping Service, a company that has been providing income tax and bookkeeping services to the trucking industry for more than a quarter century. If you would like further information, please contact us at 800-697-5153. Visit our website at

Everyone’s financial situation is different. This article does not give and is not intended to give specific accounting and/or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax or accounting professional.