Tax Preparation Checklists To Help You Get Your Tax Documentation In Order

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

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

Income Documentation

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

Adjustments to your income

  • Alimony paid
  • Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE, and other self-employed pension plans
  • Receipts for qualified energy-efficient home improvements (solar, windows, etc.)
  • Records of IRA contributions made during the year
  • Records of Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
  • Records of moving expenses
  • Self-employed health insurance payment records
  • Teachers: Canceled checks or receipts for expenses paid for classroom supplies, etc.
  • 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)

Deductible Expenses

Itemized Deductions (Schedule A)

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

Tax Credit & Deduction for Individuals

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

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

Printable Tax Documentation Checklist

click to print personal tax preparation checklist for individuals

General Taxable Income
___ Alimony Received or Paid
___ Dividend Income Statements: Form 1099-DIV
___ Interest Income Statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OID
___ Miscellaneous Income: Form 1099-MISC
___ Sales of Real Estate: Form 1099-S
___ Sales of Stock, Land, etc.: Form 1099-B
___ State Tax Refunds: Form 1099-G
___ Unemployment Compensation Received
___ W-2 Form(s) for Wages, Salaries, and Tips

Retirement Income
___ Railroad Retirement & Social Security Income: Form SSA-1099
___ Retirement Income: Form 1099-R

Business Income
___ Business Income and Expenses
___ Farm Income and Expenses
___ Form K-1 Income from Partnerships, Trusts, and S-Corporations
___ Rental Income and Expenses
___ Tax Deductible Miles Traveled for Business Purposes

Tax Credits Checklist
___ Adoption Expense Information
___ Child Care Provider Address, I.D. Number and Amounts Paid
___ First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
___ Foreign Taxes paid

Expense and Tax Deduction Checklist
___ Amount Paid to Professional Preparer Last Year
___ Casualty and Theft Losses
___ Charitable Cash Contributions
___ Doctor and Dentist Payments
___ Fair Market Value of Non-cash Contributions to Charities
___ Home Mortgage Interest from Form 1098
___ Home Second Mortgage Interest Paid
___ Hospital and Nurse Payments
___ Investment Expenses
___ IRA Contributions
___ Job-hunting Expenses
___ Last Year's Tax Preparation Fee
___ Medical Expenses for the Family
___ Medical Insurance Paid
___ Miles Traveled for Volunteer Purposes
___ Miles Traveled for Medical Purposes
___ Miles Traveled Related to Your Job
___ Moving Expenses
___ Personal Property Taxes Paid
___ Prescription Medicines and Drugs
___ Real Estate Taxes Paid
___ State Taxes Paid with Last Year's Return (if itemized)
___ Student Loan Interest Paid
___ Tax Deductible Unreimbursed Expenses Related to Your Job
___ Union and Professional Dues
___ Unreimbursed Expenses Related to Volunteer Work

Tax Estimate Payments Checklist
___ Estimated Tax Payments Made with ES Vouchers
___ Last Year's Tax Return Overpayment Applied to This Year
___ Off Highway Fuel Taxes Paid

General Information
___ Bank Account Number (BAN) (For direct deposit/debit purposes)
___ Child Care Expenses for Each Dependent
___ Copy of Last Year's Tax Return
___ Dependents' Names, Years of Birth, and Social Security Numbers
___ Dependents' Post High School Educational Expenses
___ Educational Expenses for You and Your Spouse
___ Prior Year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) & Personal Identification
___ Routing Transmit Number (RTN) (For direct deposit/debit)
___ Social Security Numbers for You and Your Spouse