These days, filing your taxes is easier than ever, especially since you can fully hand over your taxes to a TurboTax Live tax expert, but there are still documents to gather.
Luckily, our tax documents checklist is here to help. Here’s everything you need to help you easily gather your documents before handing them off to a TurboTax Live tax expert.
Select All that Applied to You
Income and Expenses
(Include Spouse’s if married filing jointly)
Self-Employed/Side Gig Income/Expenses
Rental Income and Expenses
Investments and Savings
Retirement and Social Security Income
Less Common Income
Adjustments to Income
Other Deductions and Credits
Documents You’ll Need
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How to Win at Filing Taxes: Start Simple With Personal Information
Want to make tax season a breeze? Start with the basics.
No matter what your tax prep journey looks like, you’re going to need personal information. Here’s how to find and organize it:
1. Grab a File Folder
This will be your “tax preparation headquarters.” You’ll keep just about everything in here, so give it a permanent home in your desk or file cabinet. As tax forms roll in you can also stick them in this folder for easy access when you get ready to file.
2. Track Down Important Info
You’ve probably memorized your Social Security number and (hopefully) your date of birth. But there’s plenty of other stuff you’ll need to file your taxes, and these details might be scattered between different documents.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Social Security number (SSN): This is usually on a Social Security card. Remember, you’ll need your spouse’s SSN and all your dependents’, too.
- Government-issued ID: This can be a driver’s license or a state ID card. In some cases, you might not need this type of identification, but some states require the information when you e-file.
- Tax information: It’s important to keep track of which taxes you paid and in what amounts so you don’t leave any money on the table. Track down documents showing taxes you paid that may impact your tax outcome like estimated taxes paid that should apply to this tax year’s filing.
- Account information: To make sure there are no delays in getting your tax refund, you’ll want to have the correct routing, direct deposit, and account numbers ready to go.
3. Stay Organized
Once you have the documents you need for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents, put them in your new file folder. You may want to group them together with a tab or paperclip labeled “personal documents” to keep things tidy.
Next Up, Grab Your Income Info
It wouldn’t be tax season without income documents, right? Here’s what you need to file your tax return:
This is usually in the form of a W-2 sent by your employer. Be sure to check your mail, email, and any company payment platform if you can’t find your W-2.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll receive different forms depending on the nature of your gig. Keep an eye out for Forms 1099-NECs and 1099-Ks,.
Received Unemployment income? Don’t worry—a 1099-G form will find its way to you.
If you have income from another source, you’ll need records of those amounts, too. Here are a few examples:
- Rental or real estate income.
- Retirement income reported on Form 1099-R
- Savings or investment dividends reported on Form 1099-DIV
- Royalties reported on Form 1099-Misc
- Jury duty income.
- Gambling winnings reported on Form W2-G
Some of these amounts may be small, but it’s important to list them anyway. Remember to gather all documentation related to this income so you have everything you need. If you are missing income documents, with TurboTax you can automatically import your W-2s and 1099s directly from hundreds of employers, payroll services, and financial institutions.
Debts and Expenses
If you have a mortgage, you’ll likely receive a document called Form 1098. You’ll also want to track down property tax records.
Other expenses include:
- Health insurance.
- Medical expenses.
- Childcare expenses.
- Tuition and other educational expenses.
Finally, Deduce Your Deductions With a Handy Form
Last up on our tax preparation checklist is everyone’s favorite part: deductions. This is where you get to reduce your income and in turn lower the taxes you pay.
This is a great time to print or create a quick form. That way, you’ll be able to keep track of which deductions you’re looking into and what documentation they require.
Here are a few types of deductions:
Standard Tax Deductions
This is one of the easiest parts of filing your tax return. A standard tax deduction is a set deduction dependent on your filing status and can be applied automatically if your standard deduction is more than your itemized deductions like home mortgage interest—no extra work required. Just sit back, relax, and watch this deduction save you money. TurboTax automatically figures out which one, standard deductions or itemized deductions are most beneficial to you, whether you use TurboTax Online or fully hand your taxes over to a TurboTax Live tax expert.
Itemized Tax Deductions
If you don’t take the standard deduction, your other option is to gather documents and amounts regarding the year’s spending. This is how you get started on itemized deductions.
Itemized deductions can include all kinds of things you did over the past year, like:
- Home mortgage interest
- Property taxes
- State income taxes paid
- Giving money to charity
Why It Pays To Get Ahead on Your Taxes
You’ve probably heard that it “pays” to get ahead on all kinds of things, but that’s literally the case when it comes to filing taxes.
Think about it this way: The less time you spend gathering information and filling out little boxes, the faster your tax refund can get to you—and the more time you’ll have to enjoy it. That’s why we recommend keeping this tax documents checklist handy. To make things even easier, keep all income, tax, employment, and financial records in one place so you can find them every tax season.
Of course, finding documents is just the beginning of your incredible tax return adventure. (Don’t think it’s incredible? You haven’t tried TurboTax!)
With us, you don’t have to worry about knowing tax laws and what deductions and credits your eligible for . Just hand everything over to a TurboTax Live tax expert. Available in English and Spanish, this solution is the perfect way to get your taxes done from start to finish without worry and wrap up that tax prep in a bow —all from the comfort of your home.