Filing for taxes is not the easiest task, and therefore, many choose to hire professional tax preparers. But whether you hire a professional tax preparer or you choose to do it by yourself, you will need to keep certain documents and information ready to file your tax return. And as we all know, the faster you file your tax return, the sooner you will get your refund, so once you have your Tax Prep Checklist, start as soon as possible. So, here’s a list of everything that you will need to file your taxes:
You Have To Start With Your Personal Information: The first and the most obvious item would be to gather all your personal information. You will need to get your social security number, of your spouse if you are married, and of all your dependents. Your dependents can be your children, elderly parents, and others. This is not necessary, but you can also gather your last year’s taxes,
Your Income: The second step is to gather all the documents of your income; this will include your W2 form as it shows how much you earned and how much was withheld for taxes. You will also need your last year’s state refund amount if you itemize your deduction. And 1099 forms if you have received any payment, depending on the type that you have received.
Deductions: You can claim deductions which will generally lower your tax bill. And to do this, you need to have all your documents ready, it will take time to gather all the records, but it will pay off in the end. Here is a list where you can get your tax deducted, so if you are applicable keep all the documents ready.
- If you are making contributions to your retirement account, you can deduct your contributions, but note to stay within the contributions limit.
- If you are a student, you can claim deductions for tuition and fees that you have paid, and for the interest, you have paid on the student loan. However, make sure that you have forms 1098-E and 1098-T.
- The medical costs can also provide tax savings, but you will only be eligible if the total cost amounts to 7.5% of the taxpayer’s gross income.
- You can also apply for a tax deduction from your property taxes and mortgage interest.
- If you want to take a tax deduction for the donation you made to the charity, you will need to verify. So for this, you can show the receipt that includes the date, value, and name of the organization.
- And if you are an educator, such as a school teacher, you can also deduct some amount for the amount that you have spent on the school supplies.
- You can also deduct on various other taxes, including state and local income or sales taxes.
The Next On Your Checklist Is Credit: With credits, you can also cut on the taxes that you owe, but you need to make sure that you have documentation. If you have education-related credit, you can save some amount with it. And if you have a child dependent, you will be eligible for an additional child tax credit. If you are contributing to 401(K), you might be allowed to claim the credit. However, note that in all these three cases, you will need to prove by providing documentation.
If You Have Made Federal Tax Payment: Most taxpayers have their income taxes withheld from their paycheck, and this amount is mentioned in the W-2 form. But if you have made some federal tax payments during the year, you should have this document ready as well.
You can follow this Tax Prep Checklist if you are getting ready to file your taxes, whether you are doing it by yourself or if you have hired a professional. However, note that since the taxes will be different for each individual, you should follow your checklist according to yours.