The W-2s are coming out of hiding, and you know what that means…it’s almost tax season! It can be an unsettling time of year. You’re either going to get a refund check or going to owe some funds. But before you meet with your accountant, ensure you have all of the following information available to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
To get things started, you need your basic information. How else will the government know who’s filing? This includes:
- Your social security number and/or tax number + government-issued ID
- Your spouse’s full name, social security number and/or tax number + government-issued ID
If you have children or any other dependents, you must include them when tax season rolls around. You’ll need:
- Dates of birth and social security numbers
- Childcare records (must include all relevant information)
- Form 8332 (if applicable)
Sources of Income
Sources of income will vary from person to person. Many of the following forms may not pertain to you. H&R Block offers an easy-to-use reference sheet.
- If you’re employed: W-2 Form
- If you’re unemployed: 1099-G Form
- If you’re self-employed: 1099 Form, Schedule K-1, 1099-NEC, and/or 1040-ES Form; expense records (credit card statements, receipts, etc.; use asset info (cost, service dates, etc.); home office info (if applicable)
- If you have rental income: Income, expense records, rental asset info, 1040-ES Form
- If you have retirement income: Pension, IRA, 1099-R, IRA amounts previously taxed, social security/RRB Income
- If you have savings and investments: 1099-INT, 1099-OID, and/or 1099-DIV, dates of acquisition, health savings account/long-term care reimbursements, investment expenses, tax payment records, cryptocurrency transactions
Other information you may need: 1099-K, gambling income, jury duty records, hobby income/expenses, prizes and awards, trust income, royalty income, alimony paid or received, and state tax refunds.
Deductions and Credits
You’re required to report all types of income, but you can also report deductions and credits. These will help you get some money back. Itemized information can be found here. A quick list includes:
- Childcare costs
- Education costs
- Adoption costs
- Home mortgage interest
- Investment interest
- Charitable donations
- Casualty and theft losses
- Union dues
- Unreimbursed employee expenses
- Medical and dental expenses
- Energy credits
If you have everything gathered from the above, you can set up an appointment with your accountant. They will confirm whether you need any additional information to move forward with filing your taxes!