List of Items You Need to Prepare Your Tax Return

    List of Items You Need to Prepare Your Tax Return

    Let’s say the tax season is open. What kind of information do you need to gather to be fully prepared to file your 1040 form? I’ve compiled a list of those items to help you gather all the necessary tax information to get the largest tax refund:

    1. A copy of last year’s tax return (unless I was your tax preparer).
    2. Any kind of tax forms W-2s, 1099 (-INT, -DIV, -B, etc.), 1098s, and K-1s for last year.
    3. Birth dates and social security numbers for you, your spouse, and your dependents.
    4. Do you want your refund deposited or liability withdrawn directly into/from a bank account? If so, have your bank account and routing numbers.
    5. Do you pay for childcare? Provide their tax information such as Social Security or EIN, address, and amounts paid.
    6. Did you buy or sell any financial instruments, such as stocks or options? Your broker should send you tax forms, or you may access them in your online brokerage account.
    7. Did you earn interest at a bank or credit union? They should send you forms 1099-INT, or access them in your online banking account.
    8. Did you donate? Have good descriptions and prove of the items, money, or time donated.
    9. Did you buy or sell a home last year? Bring corresponding tax documents, including cancelled debt information.
    10. If you own a home, bring all the tax forms from your mortgage servicing companies, and information about property taxes paid. Made any energy-efficient home improvements, such as windows or landscaping? Bring supporting documents.
    11. Do you have rental property or are you self-employed? You’ll need a detailed list of income and expenses, as well as home and office sizes, and auto mileage log.
    12. Did you attend any kind of school? You should have a form 1098-T from that school.
    13. Did you itemize and received a state refund? You should have a form 1099-G.
    14. Did you receive unemployment compensation last year? You should have a form 1099-G.
    15. Did you contribute to your retirement account? You need to know how much and what type of an account.
    16. Did you receive any pension, Social Security benefits, or retirement distribution? You will need forms 8606, 1099-R, SSA-1099 respectfully.
    17. Self-employed health insurance payments.
    18. Made or received alimony payments? Have Social Security number of the recipient and amounts paid/received.
    19. Paying student loan interest? You should obtain a form 1098-E from the loan servicing company.
    20. If may qualify for a renter’s credit if you lived and paid rent in a certain state. Have your landlord’s information.
    21. Any casualty or theft losses happened last year? Have a detailed information.
    22. Adopted a child last year? Bring a list of adoption expenses.

    For your next tax season, start a folder or an envelope where you will start putting your tax documents and receipts for the year.

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