Your Comprehensive Tax Preparation Documents Checklist

smiling entrepreneur doing taxes

Tax season can be a stressful time for many, but having a well-organized checklist of essential documents can make the process smoother and more efficient. Whether you’re a seasoned taxpayer or filing for the first time, here’s a comprehensive tax preparation checklist to ensure you have everything you need.

Personal Information

Social Security Number or Tax ID Number:

  • Yours and your spouse’s full name, social security number or tax ID number, and date of birth.
  • Identity Protection PIN issued by the IRS, if applicable.
  • Routing and account numbers for direct deposit or balance payment.

Dependent(s) Information

Parents and caregivers should compile the following information:

Dependents’ Details:

    • Dates of birth and social security numbers or tax ID numbers.
    • Childcare records, including the provider’s tax ID number if applicable.
    • Income details of dependents and other adults in your home.
    • Form 8332 if the child’s custodial parent is releasing the right to claim a child.

Sources of Income

  1. Employed:

    • Forms W-2.
  2. Unemployed:

    • Unemployment income (1099-G).
  3. Self-Employed:

    • Forms 1099, Schedules K-1, and income records.
    • Records of all expenses, business-use asset information, and home office details if applicable.
    • Record of estimated tax payments (Form 1040–ES).
  4. Rental Income:

    • Records of income and expenses.
    • Rental asset information and record of estimated tax payments.
  5. Retirement Income:

    • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R).
    • Traditional IRA basis and Social Security/RRB income.
  6. Savings & Investments or Dividends:

    • Interest, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV).
    • Income from sales of stock or other property (1099-B, 1099-S).
    • Health Savings Account and long-term care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC).
    • Records of estimated tax payments.
  7. Other Income & Losses:

    • Gambling income, jury duty records, hobby income and expenses, prizes and awards, trust income, royalty income, and any other 1099s.
    • Record of alimony paid/received and state tax refund.

Types of Deductions

  1. Home Ownership:
    • Forms 1098 or other mortgage interest statements.
    • Real estate and personal property tax records.
    • Receipts for energy-saving home improvements.
  2. Charitable Donations:
    • Cash amounts donated and records of non-cash donations.
    • Amounts of miles driven for charitable or medical purposes.
  3. Medical Expenses:
    • Amounts paid for healthcare, insurance, and to healthcare providers.
  4. Health Insurance:
    • Form 1095-A if enrolled in a Marketplace insurance plan.
  5. Childcare Expenses:
    • Fees paid to day care centers, babysitters, or dependent care flexible spending accounts.
  6. Educational Expenses:
    • Forms 1098-T from educational institutions.
    • Receipts for qualified educational expenses and records of scholarships or fellowships.
    • Form 1098-E if paid student loan interest.
  7. K-12 Educator Expenses:
    • Receipts for classroom expenses (for educators in grades K-12).
  8. State & Local Taxes:
    • Amount of state and local income or sales tax paid.
    • Invoice showing vehicle sales tax and personal property tax on vehicles.
  9. Retirement & Other Savings:
    • Form 5498-SA showing HSA contributions.
    • Form 5498 showing IRA contributions.
    • Other 5498 series forms.
  10. Federally Declared Disaster:
    • City/county information.
    • Records supporting property losses, rebuilding/repair costs, and insurance reimbursements.
    • FEMA assistance information (check FEMA website for declarations).

By having these documents in order, you’ll be well-prepared for tax season, making the filing process smoother and potentially maximizing your returns. Remember, consulting with a tax professional can provide personalized advice based on your unique financial situation.