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Tax Preparation Checklists

Tax season offers plenty of challenges especially when it comes to gathering up all that documentation that needs to be handy while working on your tax return.

Fortunately, a tax preparation checklist can make light of the situation and help you discover what's needed to proceed when ready.

Being prepared for tax season will help you expedite your tax return preparation process, and quite possibly reduce your taxes.

Gathering up all the documents needed to prepare and file your tax return with ease.

Our checklists are provided to help you collect the most common items that are generally required when you are filing tax returns or gathering up documentation to supply to your personal tax professional (CPA).

These lists include common items and documentation generally required to prepare tax returns for individuals and families, business owners, self employed taxpayers and investors.

Checklist for Individuals and Families

General Information

  • Full Names and Social Security Numbers for yourself, your spouse, and any children / dependents that you have.
  • Date of Birth for yourself, spouse and dependents.
  • Previous years tax returns for you and you spouse.
  • Payments of Estimated Federal, State, local taxes paid or paycheck withholding amounts paid over the tax year being filed.
  • Bank account number and routing number, if you are opting for depositing your tax refund directly into your bank account.

Income Documentation

  • W-2 forms for you and your spouse
  • 1099 – Interest and Dividend Income, Retirement, Annuities, tax refunds, Unemployment
  • Social Security received
  • Alimony received
  • Cost Basis of Securities Sold
  • 1099-MISC Income: independent contractor forms
  • 1099-G forms for unemployment income, or state or local tax refunds
  • SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits received
  • 1099-R, Form 8606 for distributions from IRAs or retirement plans
  • 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, or K-1s for investment or interest income
  • 1099-S form for income from sale of a property
  • Miscellaneous income: jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account, scholarships, etc.
  • Business or farming income - profit/loss statement, capital equipment information
  • Rental property income and expenses: profit/loss statement, suspended loss information
  • Prior year installment sale information - Forms 6252, principal and interest collected during the year, SSN and address for payer
  • 1099-C forms for cancellation of debt

Adjustments to your income

  • Form 1098-E for student loan interest paid (or loan statements for student loans)
  • Form 1098-T for tuition paid (or receipts/canceled checks for tuition paid for post-high school)
  • For teachers: Canceled checks or receipts for expenses paid for classroom supplies, etc.
  • Records of IRA contributions made during the year
  • Receipts for qualified energy-efficient home improvements (solar, windows, etc.)
  • Records of Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
  • Self-employed health insurance payment records
  • Records of moving expenses
  • Alimony paid
  • Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE, and other self-employed pension plans

Deductible Expenses

Itemized Deductions (Schedule A)

  • Medical Expenses (Health Care – Prescriptions, Doctors, Dentists, Eyeglasses, Medical Insurance, Long Term Health Care Insurance)
  • Form 1098 – Mortgage Interest Expense
  • Real Estate Taxes and other taxes paid, PMI insurance, points paid
  • List of Charitable Contributions
  • Un-reimbursed Job Expense
  • Union/Professional Dues, Job related costs, uniforms, supplies, seminars, continuing education, publications, travel, etc.)

Tax Credit & Deduction for Individuals

  • Child Care Expenses provider’s name, address, tax ID, $ amount
  • Alimony Paid (need Social Security number of recipient)
  • Medical savings account
  • Moving expenses
  • IRA contributions
  • Rental Property Expense & cost basis
  • Adoption expenses
  • Investment interest expenses
  • Medical and dental expense records
  • Casualty and theft losses, insurance reimbursements
  • Home business expenses, home size/office size, home expenses
  • Work vehicle license fees, mileage
  • Real estate taxes paid
  • Personal property taxes
  • Charitable donations: official charity receipts, cash amounts, canceled checks, value of donated property, miles driven and out-of-pocket expenses

Additional Documentation

Prior-year refund applied to current year and/or any amount paid with an extension to file

Foreign bank account information: location, name of bank, account number, peak value of account during the year

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