Tax Preparation Checklist: Gather Your Important Tax Documents When You File Your Taxes
A tax preparation checklist not only helps keep you organized during tax season but it'll helps you feel less stressed. Whether or not you choose to file your taxes by using tax software or gain professional assistance from tax professionals, it's always good to keep a checklist by your side.
What Required Documents Do I Need To File Taxes?
Before taxpayers begin working on their tax returns, we suggest they take a look at the tax preparation checklist below to ensure that they have everything they need.
Personal Information: Your personal information tells the IRS and the state taxing authority who's filing a return, where to contact you, and deposit your tax refunds. Some personal information that taxpayers should have on hand while preparing taxes is the date of birth, home address, social security number, the official name on the social security number, bank accounts information such as route and account number, and a copy of the previous year's federal and state tax returns.
Dependent Information: If taxpayers claim someone else as a dependent, they'll need the dependents' name as it appears on their Social Security card, date of birth, and their Social Security number (or tax ID #).
Sources Of Income: There are several different tax forms that documents the income that taxpayers received in 2021. A couple of common tax forms include W-2s from employer(s), 1099-G forms for unemployment income and state or local tax refunds, Schedule K-1 for income from a pass-through business, trust, or estate, and records of any transactions involving cryptocurrency, alimonies received, etc.
Self-Employment and Business Records: If taxpayers are self-employed, they'll need to report that income. Taxpayers can lower their taxable income by claiming business expenses. Records of all business income and expenses, documentation for home office expenses, including square footage of one's home or square footage that's exclusively for business, miles traveled for business purposes, and 1099-NEC or 1099-K showing their income earned as an independent contractor.
Deductions: Deductions can reduce taxpayers' taxable income, which then ables them to lower the amount of taxes they owe or the ability to increase their refund. Usually, taxpayers can claim the standard deduction which is the flat amount based on our filing status, or itemize deductions. State and local income taxes or sales tax, car taxes paid, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and documentation of casualty losses (if you lived or owned property in a federally declared disaster area).
Tax Credits: Tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of taxes you owe. Usually, taxpayers would need the 1098-T showing expenses for higher education, child care costs and care provider's name, address, and tax identification number, adoption costs, and social security number of the child you legally adopted, and form 1095-A if you purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Estimated Tax Payments: You need to make estimated payments if you're self-employed or earn a lot of money that doesn't have federal and state income tax withheld. To prevent paying twice, make sure you include those estimates on your tax returns.
IRS Letters: Sometimes the IRS and state tax authorities may send out different notices or letters that may impact the current year's return. It's good to have those notices and letters on standby when you prepare your tax return.
Resolve Your Tax Bills
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