Tax Preparation Checklist

Before filing your taxes this April 15th there are some simple things you need to have with you. We have made the below list to help you out. Feel free to print out a copy of the below and check off the information as you put it together so you are set to do your taxes when the time comes. We also recommend putting this checklist on the outside of a folder which can contain all of the documents as you find them. Then when you are done with taxes for the year you can store the full file in your filing cabinet to have it for next year and for the next couple of years in case you ever audited.

Personal Information

  • Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, your dependents
  • Copies of last year’s tax return for you and your spouse (helpful, but not required)
  • Bank account number and routing number, if depositing your refund directly into your account (You can find this on your check book or by logging into your online bank account)

Information about your income

  • W-2 forms for you and your spouse
  • 1099-C forms for cancellation of debt
  • 1099-G forms for unemployment income, or state or local tax refunds
  • 1099-MISC forms for you and your spouse (for any independent contractor work)
  • 1099-R, Form 8606 for payments/distributions from IRAs or retirement plans
  • 1099-S forms for income from sale of a property
  • 1099-INT, -DIV, -B, or K-1s for investment or interest income
  • SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits received

Adjustments to your income

  • Form 1098-E for student loan interest paid (or loan statements for student loans)
  • Form 1098-T for tuition paid (or receipts/canceled checks for tuition paid for post-high school)
  • Records of IRA contributions made during the year
  • Records of moving expenses
  • For teachers: Canceled checks or receipts for expenses paid for classroom supplies, etc.

Taxes you’ve paid

  • State and local income taxes paid

These are some of the most common forms and documents you will need to complete your taxes. You should have received copies of most of these by February 1st since employers and other institutions are required to mail them out by then. If you think you are missing a document be sure to contact that party before filing your taxes since you don’t want to risk being audited.