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Tax Prep Checklist: What to Gather Before Filing

Tax season is upon us, and the experts at SD Associates want you to be prepared. We recognize this task can oftentimes be put off until the last minute, but sooner or later, that April 15th deadline will be here. To make your filing process go more quickly and smoothly this year, we’ve put together a checklist of necessary files and forms to gather before you begin.  Remember, a little advanced preparation can save you time, money, and less headaches in the long run.

Personal Information

Starting with the most obvious information, the IRS needs to know who’s filing and who is covered in your tax return. This information includes:

  • Social security numbers for yourself, spouse and all dependents.
  • Dates of birth for everyone listed on your return.
  • Did you move during the tax year or subsequent to year end?
  • Did you get married during the tax year?

Information About Your Income and Adjustments to Your Income

Gather all necessary documents that show where you received your income from in the past year, including investments. 

  • W-2 forms for you and your spouse.
  • Interest and dividend income for 1099’s.
  • Broker statements that include all sales of stock or other investment. Review these statements to ensure the cost basis is included on all sales.
  • Alimony received or paid and any unemployment compensation.
  • Other miscellaneous income, records including jury duty, gambling winnings, lottery payouts, etc.
  • Retirement income (form 1099R) and Social Security income (form SSA).
  • All self-employment business income and expenses (schedule C) or have rental properties, the income and related expenses (Schedule E).
  • All K’1 income from partnerships, trusts and S-corporations. 

Deductions 

The government offers several deductions and credits to help reduce your taxable income, which means more money in your pocket. Some common deductions include:

  • Childcare costs (providers name, address, EIN and amounts paid for each dependent).
  • Foreign taxes paid.
  • Medical bills ( health insurance premiums and co-pays and other medical costs).
  • Educational expenses (form 1098 T from the college or university).
  • Real Estate taxes paid.
  • Home mortgage interest (form 1098 from your mortgage company.
  • Charitable donations (separated into cash and non-cash contributions to charities).
  • Student loan interest paid.

Taxes You’ve Already Paid

Having this information available can prohibit you from overpaying when it comes time to file. This can include documents such as:

  • State and local incomes taxes paid
  • Estimated tax payments made for Federal, state or local 
  • Real estate taxes paid both personal and for rental properties

Our checklist covers some of the common documents and forms you will need to file your return. Taxes are different for everyone, so make sure you take the time to learn and gather all the correct documents unique to your situation. Please review your prior year return to make sure you don’t miss any income or expenses that might have been listed on the last years return.

Tax season can be confusing, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Our tax advisors at SD Associates are here to help. Whether you need help creating a financial strategy plan for your business, an easy way to maximize your tax deductions or you just need assistance preparing the necessary documents, contact us today for accurate and timely tax returns that can help you and your business save money.

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