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

Personal Tax Preparation Checklist For Professional Assistance

This comprehensive Tax Preparation Checklist has been prepared to assist you in gathering information to take to your CPA, accountant, or tax professional to prepare your income tax return. It is a relatively complete list, however additional information may be required depending on your personal everyday income and expenses.

Your Accountant or CPA may determine that additional documentation may be needed in addition to what is listed below. Due to varied occupations, not all suspected tax documentation can be listed here.

Good Record Keeping Practices

Preparing your tax return starts with a good record retention system. It doesn't have to be elaborate, professional or expensive. It just has to be a place where you gather and store important tax documents. The better you are at record retention, the easier it will be to find your documentation to prepare your tax return when tax season rolls around.

What, you don't have a place to keep your tax receipts or other tax forms that you receive throughout the year? Well, create one. If you must, start with a simple old shoe box, with a rubber band that can be kept someplace like your closet? Or dedicate a nightstand drawer to tax documents? Even a rectangular plastic container with a top that you can pick up from the grocery store will work just fine.

Ever make a donation at your grocery checkout counter? Well, keep that receipt and add it to your other cash donations. Your tax calculations will fair better with deductions that help you estimate a bigger tax refund at year end.

You keep your clothes and kitchen dishes organized in a specific place, so why scatter important tax documents all over the place, it just increases the time and effort it takes to prepare your return. So if you haven't already, find a shoe box, plain old paper grocery, drawer or container to dedicate to tax documents. Choose a place to keep this information and you're on you way to getting organized.

Gathering Documents For Your Tax Professional

Personal Tax Preparation Information

click to print tax preparation checklist for professional services

Full names, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse and your dependents

  • Occupations/Job Titles for you and your spouse
  • Are you or your wife Legally Blind? Y N
  • Mailing Address:
  • Current e-mail address:
  • What is the best way to contact you? Phone or Email
  • Name of County where you live:
  • Did you live with your spouse during any part of the last six months of the tax year?
  • Bank account number for tax refund direct deposit

Did You Contribute to the Presidential Campaign Fund? This will not effect the amount of your refund.

Estimated Tax Payments-IRS Form 1040ES. List each payment by date and amount paid. Do the same for state estimated tax payments

  • Do you own any securities or hold any debts that became worthless last year?
  • Did you make gifts totaling more than $14,000 to any individual?
  • Did you turn 70 1/2 last year? And do you have any retirement accounts?
  • Did you pay any individual more than $1,800 to perform household duties (babysitting, cleaning, cooking or gardening)?
  • Was every family member of your family covered by health insurance that provides minimum essential coverage?
  • Gather all Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, and/or 1095-C related to health care coverage or the Premium Tax Credit
  • Gather any correspondence received from the IRS or your State Department of Revenue

Personal Income Documentation

  • Wages: Provide ALL Copies of Form W-2 Wage Statements
  • Interest Income, IRS Form 1099-Int
  • Do You Have an Interest in a Foreign Financial Account?
  • Dividend Income, IRS Form 1099-Div
  • Self-Employment Income & Expenses
  • Rental Income & Expenses-Closing Statements
  • Copies of Schedules K-1 for Partnerships, S corporations, Estates and Trusts
  • Tip Income
  • Capital Gains/Losses. Did you sell stocks, mutual fund shares, real estate? If yes be prepared with sales proceeds and your cost/basis.
  • Social Security Income, Form 1099-SSA
  • Refund From Prior Year's State Tax Return-If you itemized
  • Alimony Received
  • Installment Sale, Payments Received
  • Tax-Exempt Interest (Tax Exempt Int is Reportable, Not Taxable)
  • IRA Distributions, Pension Income, Forms 1099-R
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Other Income, Example: Jury Duty Pay, Sale of Jewelry

Adjustments to (Subtractions from) Income

  • Moving Expenses-If Job Related
  • Self Employed Health Insurance
  • Health Savings Account
  • Tuition & Fees Deduction
  • IRA Contribution
  • Student Loan Interest
  • Educator Expenses
  • Alimony Paid
  • Itemized Deductions
    • FYI: You deduct the greater of your total Itemized Deductions OR The Standard Deduction. The Standard Deduction Amount for your filing status will help determine the format you use.
  • Medical Insurance
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Prescription Medicine
  • Doctor, Hospital Expenses
  • Medical Mileage
  • State Income Taxes
  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Personal Property Taxes
  • Sales Taxes
  • Home Mortgage Interest
  • Points on purchase of new home
  • Points paid on refinancing your mortgage
  • Investment Interest
  • Last Year's Tax Preparation Fees
  • Contributions-Cash
  • Contributions-Non Cash
  • Contributions-Out of Pocket & Mileage
  • Investment Expenses
  • Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
  • Total Miles and Total Business Miles Driven in the Past Year
  • Job Seeking Expenses
  • Gambling Losses - Limited to Gambling Winnings

In Home Office Expenses

  • Total Area of Home (Total Square Footage)
  • Office Area Used Regularly and Exclusively For Business (Sq Ft
  • Mortgage Interest
  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Cleaning Services
  • Gardener
  • Pool Services
  • Repairs

Personal Tax Credits

Did You Pay Child Care Costs for a dependent under the age of 13?

If yes, please provide amounts paid for each dependent and the names, addresses and tax identification numbers of the care providers

  • Did you adopt a child? If yes, please provide detailed list of expenses you incurred.
  • Did you have foreign tax withheld from your interest or dividend income?
  • Did you make any energy saving improvements on your house


Additional Tax Preparation Resources

More IRS Tax Topics Catagories