While there may still be some time before the tax filing deadline of April 15th, it is important to have all of your tax documents in order ahead of time. Gathering all of the necessary forms and documents can be complicated and time-consuming. We’ve put together a tax preparation checklist for next year’s tax filing that compiles the information into one convenient resource.
Below is a checklist of the most common documents tax filers may need in the upcoming year. Not all of them will be applicable, but the comprehensive list is there to help make filing easier.
First and foremost, in order to properly file taxes, you must provide the IRS with the Social Security Numbers and Dates of Birth for yourself, your spouse, and any dependents. It is important to include all persons covered under the current filing.
Taxable Income Documents
- Employment Income – Form W2 for yourself and your spouse
- Investment Income – Various Forms (1099, -INT -DIV -B, etc,) K-1s, stock option information
- State and Local Income Tax Form 1099-G
- Taxable Alimony
- Home Business or Farm Income
- Pension/IRA distributions form 1099-R, 8606
- Social Security Benefits forms 1099, SSA
- Sale/Improvement of Property Income form 1099-C
- Installment Sale Income from prior year form 6252, address and SSN of payer
- Miscellaneous Income including gambling winnings, scholarships, jury duty, etc
Income Adjustments, Tax Credits, and Deductions
- IRA contributions
- Energy Credits
- Student Loan/Mortgage Interest Deduction
- Medical Savings Account Contributions
- Personal and Family Medical Insurance Payments and Expenses
- Moving Expenses
- Tax Deductible Alimony Payments
- Rental Income and Expenses
- Child and Dependent Tax Credit
- Earned Income Credit (EIC)
- Foreign Taxes Paid if Applicable
- Educator Expenses
- Adoption Expense Information for Adoption Tax Credit
- Self Employment Health Insurance Payments
- Miscellaneous Expense deductions, home office, mileage, childcare, supplies, etc
Estimation of Taxes Paid
- State and local income taxes paid
- Real estate taxes
- Personal property taxes
- Any adjustments from the previous year including extensions, fines, and fees
- Estimation of Last Years Taxes Paid
Apart from the items listed, it is also helpful to have a copy of last year’s tax returns included with other documentation. Our checklist includes a broad list of forms and documents that may be needed to file next year’s taxes.
Other things to consider include itemized deduction lists for things like charitable donations, personal work expenses, and work-related meal costs. Many of these things can be at least partially deducted.
To avoid having to file for an extension or make a tax amendment, be sure to thoroughly go through your taxes ahead of time. Comparing this year’s documents to the previous years’ tax return can help to minimize errors. This also helps to avoid concerns in the event of a state or federal audit.
If you keep books electronically, consider printing out your records and checking them against existing documentation. Also, be sure to follow up with any agencies that provide tax documentation to ensure all documents are received in a timely fashion. By following our checklist and keeping organized, next years’ filing will be much easier.