Reviewing a client’s tax return can always be an informative exercise to ensure we understand all sources of income and tax liabilities for the prior year. This is true for existing clients with whom we have been working and is especially true for our new clients as a way to familiarize ourselves with their situation.
In this checklist, we highlight points to consider on your tax return if you are retired, including:
Review the client’s filing status. If they are married should they automatically file jointly with their spouse or might there be situations where the client might consider filing separately?
If the client is divorced or widowed, there are filing steps for them to take depending upon timing and circumstances.
If the client had investment income for the prior year, there are reporting issues that you will want to be sure are addressed in connection with this income.
If the client owned tax-advantaged accounts during the prior tax year there may be some reporting issues to consider, especially if you took any distributions from these accounts. For clients who have reached their RBD, did they take the full amount of their RMD from their retirement plans? Did they do a rollover to an IRA? Were any distributions taken from an after-tax IRA account?
Check to see if the client had a high level of medical expenses or if there are state-specific issues to be considered.
This is a comprehensive checklist of the types of issues that should be discussed with clients who are retired when reviewing their tax returns from the prior year.