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Tax Preparation Checklist

Before you begin to prepare your income tax return, go through the following Tax Preparation Checklist to take note of the areas that apply to you. This will help you gather all the documentation needed to prepare and file your tax return.

Tax Preparation Documentation Checklist

Personal Information

bullet Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, your dependents
bullet Copies of last year’s tax return for you and your spouse (for reference)
bullet Bank account number and routing number, for tax refund direct deposit

Information about your income.

bullet W-2 forms for you and your spouse
bullet 1099-C forms for cancellation of debt
bullet 1099-G forms for unemployment income, or state or local tax refunds
bullet 1099-MISC forms for you and your spouse (for any independent contractor work)
bullet 1099-R, Form 8606 for payments/distributions from IRAs or retirement plans
bullet 1099-S forms for income from sale of a property
bullet 1099-INT, -DIV, -B, or K-1s for investment or interest income
bullet SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits received
bullet Alimony received
bullet Business or farming income – profit/loss statement, capital equipment info.
bullet Rental property income and expenses: profit/loss statement, suspended loss info.
bullet Prior year installment sale information – Forms 6252, principal and interest collected during the year, SSN and address for payer
bullet Miscellaneous income: jury duty, gambling, Savings Accounts, scholarships, etc.

Adjustments to your income.

This following items can help reduce the amount of your income that is being taxed, which can increase your refund, or lower your taxes owed.

bullet Form 1098-E for student loan interest paid (or loan statements for student loans)
bullet Form 1098-T, or receipts/canceled checks for tuition paid (for post-high school)
bullet Teachers: Paid expense receipts or cancelled checks for classroom supplies, etc.
bullet Records of IRA contributions made during the year
bullet Energy-efficient home improvements expense receipts (solar, windows, etc.)
bullet Records of Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
bullet Self-employed health insurance payment records
bullet Records of moving expenses for new job or first job
bullet Alimony paid, attorney fees related to settlement amount and tax advice
bullet Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE, and other self-employed pension plans

> If you itemize your deductions:

Deductions and Credits

The government offers many tax deductions and credits that help lower the tax burden on tax filers. The following documents help you get the deductions and credits you are qualified to receive.

bullet Child care costs: provider’s name, address, tax ID, and amount paid
bullet Education costs: Form 1098-T, education expenses
bullet Adoption costs: SSN of child; records of legal, medical and transportation costs
bullet Forms 1098: Mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance (PMI), points you paid
bullet Investment interest expenses
bullet Charitable donations: cash amounts, official charity receipts, canceled checks; value of donated property; miles driven and out-of-pocket expenses
bullet Medical and dental expense records
bullet Casualty and theft losses: amount of damage, insurance reimbursements
bullet Miscellaneous tax deductions: union dues, unreimbursed employee expenses (uniforms, supplies, seminars, continuing education, publications, travel, etc.)
bullet Records of home business expenses, home size/office size, home expenses
bullet Rental property income/expenses: profit/loss statement, suspended loss information

Taxes you have paid.

bullet State and local income taxes paid
bullet Estimated tax payments made during the year (self-employed)
bullet Real estate taxes paid
bullet Personal property taxes
bullet Vehicle license fees based on value of vehicle

Other information.

bullet Prior-year refund applied to current year, any amount paid with an extension
bullet Foreign bank account information: location, name of bank, account number, peak value of account during the year