Tax Checklist to Help You Prepare Well for Filing Tax Returns

It does not matter if you plan to use a tax preparer or planning to file taxes on your own. When the tax season arrives, it is better to prepare yourself to submit your tax returns without any mistakes. You do not have to worry much when you submit your taxes with no errors. 

Do not forget that you will receive your refund faster if you submit your tax returns earlier than others. Use a professional tax preparer to prepare your documents if you do not understand the tax code. 

You need to follow the checklist as shown below to gather both documents and forms to take things further. 

1. Your Personal Information 

You must add your social security number or tax identification number to your tax return. Apart from your information, it would be best if you also had your spouse’s and dependants’ number with you. 

TIN is good enough if a person does not have an SSN. But, you need to collate this information before you start to file your return. 

2. Investment and Income Information

Tax Statement and Form W-2 Wage: 

Your employer will give this form to you by February. This form shows how much income you were earning during a fiscal year. They might have paid some money towards the taxes. If you did not get this form yet from your employer, you might have to contact and request this information. 

Refund Amount of Last Year:

Are you planning to itemize the deductions? As per IRS, State refunds are also income. 

Financial Institution and Bank Statements: 

You must have your Form 5498 with you if you did make some contribution to IRA. Keep the 1098-E form handy if you are paying off your student loan. And, you might need the 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement if you have taken a home mortgage. 

tax deductions 2020

Miscellaneous Income Records:

You should collate the records that show how you earn from gambling winnings, lottery, or other means. Please keep all of these documents handy so that it is easy for you to file the tax returns. 

Pick Form 1099s That Fits Your Requirement

There are different kinds of 1099 forms. You should take the time to check which form is appropriate for you and keep it handy. 

  1. If you are receiving dividends, then you should have a 1099-DIV.
  2. You will need a 1099-NEC form if you are a self-employed individual and receive over 600 dollars or more from a client. 
  3. Have form 1099-G handy if you are receiving benefits or money from the government.
  4. Keep 1099-K in hand if you are receiving payments on Venmo or PayPal. 
  5. The 1099-Misc form is what you need to have if you won a prize or are receiving payments of more than 600 dollars towards rent.

3. Charitable Donations

Lastly, take your time to get all the bills ready if you did contribute to charitable organizations in the past. You can claim deductions using these receipts. Hence, this is one thing that you should take care of when taking things forward.