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Tax Form Checklist

What is the overall goal of a tax preparation checklist? 

Simply put, it will help you get everything together before you begin to file your tax return or show up for your appointment with a tax professional. 

As you move down the checklist, you will find items you may have missed as well as things that were accounted for in the past.

Listed below are some of the details that should be included on your tax preparation checklist.

Tax Preparation for Personal Information

The IRS needs to know who is filing the tax return, as well as how many people are covered on it. To make this easy, they require:

Your Social Security number and driver license

Your spouse’s Social Security number (if married) and driver license

Social Security numbers for any dependents

Birthday date for you, your spouse and dependents

Tax Preparation for Income Information

The following documents will help you prepare all the income information that you need to file a federal tax return:

W-2 Forms from all employers you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) worked for during the past tax year or w-2 form from church if you are a minister

1099 Forms if you (or your spouse) completed contract work and earned more than $600.

If you are a minister, income from your congregations other than from church (visiting, wedding, funeral and other) and expenses other than church

travel, meal and entertainment, subscriptions and  books etc.  

Investment income information (including: interest income, dividend income, proceeds from the sale of bonds or stocks, and income from foreign investments).

Income from local and state tax refunds from the prior year.

Business income (accounting records for any business that you own)

Unemployment income

Rental property income

Social Security benefits

Miscellaneous income (including: jury duty, lottery and gambling winnings, Form 1099-MISC for prizes and awards, and Form 1099-MSA for distributions from medical savings accounts)

Tax Preparation for Income Adjustments

The following adjustments can help reduce how much you owe in taxes, and in turn, increase your chance of receiving a tax refund:

Homebuyer tax credit

Green energy credits

IRA contributions

Mortgage interest

Student loan interest

Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions

Self-employed health insurance

Moving expenses

Tax Preparation for Credits and Deductions

There are many tax credits and tax deductions for various expenses, which are designed to help lower the amount of tax that an individual has to pay:

Education costs

Childcare costs

Adoption costs

Charitable contributions/donations

Casualty and theft losses

Qualified business expenses

Medical expenses

Job and moving expenses

Business (ministry) expenses: car mileage and starting date to use the car for ministry(year, month and day), office expense, religious materials, subscriptions, expendable books, seminar/conference registration dues, education expenses, travel(hotel, parking fee, car rent and air plane), meals or other.  

Tax Preparation for Direct Deposit

Are you interested in having your tax refund directly deposited into your bank account so that it will be refunded faster? If so, you will need to provide two things:

Your bank account number

The bank’s routing number

*This tax forms / preparation checklist should help you get organized before filing your next income tax return.

**If you have all documents well prepared, you save my time and your money!