In early January, I sent a “checklist” email, and it was one of our most popular messages. I guess it was handy! 

Putting together this list may run slightly counter to my business goals — after all, we do get paid to do this on behalf of clients! That said, our mission is to ensure that EVERYONE in the local area saves the most possible when the IRS comes calling. Some of these may seem small, but trust me when I say that they add up. 

But today, I would like to take a minute here to address you who haven’t yet made the decision to use our services. 

You see, we’ve helped many families “make the switch” over to us, year after year. I know that you’ve probably established a rhythm with your current provider (even if it’s not a “good” rhythm), and that you may dread the prospect of having to teach a new tax preparer about your family’s financial dreams and goals. 

(By the way, are you using a tax professional who cares about those?) 

Which is why this email would be for you. (And if you’re already using us, then you can safely ignore this particular message, and skip to the end where we do have some information for you, perhaps merely as a reminder.) 

Many families are pulling together their paperwork to deliver to their preparer this week … and before you do that with your existing preparer, I’d like to give you a reason to try us out.

I’d rather not “bad mouth” other tax accountants in the area, but suffice to say that we’ve had to do our share of re-doing other accountants’ work. In some cases, we’ve recovered significant sums during an amendment process, by reviewing an old return (from the last 3 years), and taking advantage of ethical and legal tax credits and deductions which other accountants don’t utilize — whether through ignorance, laziness, or preference. 

Make the “switch” to Qual-i-Tax for your 2013 tax filing — and receive a complimentary post-season tax planning session.

($250 value) First TEN new clients only

Email me back now, and we’ll book your tax planning session for some time in May or June (after the chaos of tax season subsides), and we’ll work PRO-ACTIVELY on your asset mix to ensure that your 2014 returns are as well-protected from Uncle Sam’s grasping hands as possible. 

Valerie McLaughlin’s

“Real World” Personal Strategy Note

McLaughlin’s Tax Time Checklist (Again)

“Don’t lower your standards. Instead, wait for people to rise up to your expectations.” -Susan Gale 

Yes, this is a long list — but it’s the unfortunate reality of our tax code that it’s not even comprehensive! But these items will cover 95% of our clients. Really, this is for ensuring that we’re able to help you keep every dollar you can keep under our tax code. 

Employment & Income Data

W-2 forms for this year

Tax refunds and unemployment compensation: Form 1099-G Miscellaneous income including rent: Form 1099-MISC Partnership and trust income Pensions and annuities Alimony received Jury duty pay Gambling and lottery winnings Prizes and awards Scholarships and fellowships State and local income tax refunds Unemployment compensation


Homeowner/Renter Data

Residential address(es) for this year

Mortgage interest: Form 1098

Sale of your home or other real estate: Form 1099-S Second mortgage interest paid Real estate taxes paid Rent paid during tax year Moving expenses


Financial Assets

Interest income statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OID Dividend income statements: Form 1099-DIV Proceeds from broker transactions: Form 1099-B Retirement plan distribution: Form 1099-R Capital gains or losses

Financial Liabilities

Student loan interest paid

Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other fixed time deposits



Gifts to charity (receipts for any single donations of $250 or more) Unreimbursed expenses related to volunteer work Unreimbursed expenses related to your job (travel expenses, entertainment, uniforms, union dues, subscriptions) Investment expenses Job-hunting expenses Education expenses (tuition and fees) Child care expenses Medical Savings Accounts Adoption expenses Alimony paid Tax return preparation expenses and fees


Self-Employment Data

Self-employment SEP plans

Self-employed health insurance

K-1s on all partnerships

Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses Farm income


Deduction Documents

State and local income taxes

IRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributions Medical expenses Casualty or theft losses Other miscellaneous deductions


While some of these statements, and their ensuing deductions, may seem like “pocket change” … just a few minutes of effort can SAVE YOU MONEY. And, better in YOUR pockets than in Uncle Sam’s, right?


So, I hope this helps.




Valerie McLaughlin, EA

(410) 224-2600