Before you arrive for your tax appointment or prior to dropping off your information, you should review this tax preparation checklist to help you get organized.
Listed below are some of the details that should be included on your tax preparation checklist.
Tax Preparation for Personal Information
The IRS needs to know who is filing the tax return, as well as how many people are covered on it. To make this easy, they require:
• Your Social Security number and Photo Identification
• Your spouse’s Social Security number (if married)
• Social Security numbers and birth dates for any dependents – if you have added or removed any dependents, be sure to let your tax adviser know.
Tax Preparation for Income Information
The following documents will help you prepare all the income information that you need to file a federal tax return:
• W-2 Forms from all employers you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) worked for during the past tax year.
• 1099 Forms if you (or your spouse) completed contract work and earned $600 or more
• Investment income information (including: interest income, dividend income, proceeds from the sale of bonds or stocks, and income from foreign investments). This information will typically come from either your bank or your brokerage company or from the company in which you own stocks – 1099-DIV, 1099-B, 1099-INT
• Income from local and state tax refunds from the prior year.
• Alimony – Received. NOTE – this does not include monies designated as child support
• Retirement/Annuity Income – 1099-R – IRA, Pension Plans, annuities, etc.
• Business income and expenses (accounting records for any business that you own) a summary of expenses, categorized, is appreciated!
• Unemployment income
• Rental property income and expenses
• Social Security benefits
• Miscellaneous income (including: jury duty, lottery and gambling winnings, Form 1099-MISC for prizes and awards, and Form 1099-MSA for distributions from medical savings accounts)
Tax Preparation for Income Adjustments
The following adjustments can help reduce how much you owe in taxes, and in turn, increase your chance of receiving a tax refund:
• IRA contributions
• Student loan interest
• Medical/Health Savings Account (MSA/HSA) expenses
• Self-employed health insurance
• Educator expenses – up to $250 for Federal tax
• Alimony Paid – NOTE: Does not include monies designated as child support. Will need social security number of the recipient
• Job and moving expenses
Tax Preparation for Credits and Deductions
There are many tax credits and tax deductions for various expenses, which are designed to help lower the amount of tax that an individual has to pay:
• Education – Form 1098-T from the college/university. This form is often located on the student portal.
• Childcare costs – form supplied by Day Care provider should include name, address and tax ID.
• Adoption costs
SCHEDULE A DEDUCTIONS – if you can itemize
• Mortgage Interest – Form 1098
• Real Estate / Property Taxes – primary residence and any other property owned
• Charitable contributions/donations including mileage
• Casualty and theft losses
• Medical expenses including mileage
• Gambling Losses up to any gambling winnings
Tax Preparation for Direct Deposit
Are you interested in having your tax refund directly deposited into your bank account? If so, you will need to provide a voided check.
This tax forms / preparation checklist should help you get organized before filing your next income tax return.