Filing your annual tax return can be a HUGE stress, especailly if you’re not gifted at being well organized. This is why most people like to reply on the expertise of a tax preparer. One of the things that can reduce that stress is understanding what exactly is needed for your return to be completed.
The absolute best thing you can do for yourself and to help the preparer ask less questions of you, is to use a tax organizing form. There are many different types you can use but it’s best to start with a form that gives the basic information about you. The form should include a place for you to fill in your full name, current address (and info of previous address if you were a resident of another start for part of the previous year), date of birth, social security number, dependent information (full name, SSN and D.O.B.) driver’s license (the IRS now urges verificaiton of IDs for electronic filing, no matter who the preparer or softwhere is, to expedite your processing, not providing it can increase the processing by weeks or even months) and specifying if you had health insurance or not.
Beyond this basic information about yourself, here’s an extensive list of items that are good to provide but it is best to give COPIES so that you always have your originals in your possession.
- – Wage statements (Form W-2)
- – Pension, or retirement income (Forms 1099-R)
- – Form to verify health insurance coverage (Form 1095)
- – Dependents’ Social Security numbers and dates of birth
- – Last year’s tax return. If we did your taxes last year we have it but it is a good practice to bring it anyway
- – Information on education expenses
- – Information on the sales of stocks and/or bonds
- – Self-employed business income and expenses
- – Lottery and/or gambling winnings and losses
- – State refund amount
- – Social Security and/or unemployment income
- – Income and expenses from rentals
- – K-1’s from any Partnerships , S-Corps or Trusts
- – Record of purchase or sale of real estate
- – Medical and dental expenses
- – Real estate and personal property taxes
- – Estimated taxes or foreign taxes paid
- – Receipts for cash and non-cash charitable donations
- – Mortgage or home equity loan interest paid (Form 1098)
- – Unreimbursed employment-related expenses
- – Job-related educational expenses
- – Child care expenses and provider information. You will need the address and either their EIN or SSN.
- – And any other items that you think may be necessary for your taxes. Generally a good rule of thumb is if you are not sure if you need a document bring it.