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Checklist for Preparing Your Tax Return Online

The following detailed tax checklist ensures that you gather all the information needed for preparing your income tax return. Organizing your necessary documents beforehand will end up saving you a lot of time. And time is money, right?

Personal Information
Income Information
Itemized Deductions
Information about Household Employees
Tax Payments
Direct Deposit Information
Foreign Bank Account Information

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Personal Information

Social Security Numbers
  • Yours
  • Your Spouse's
  • Your Dependents'

Advance Child Tax Credit Payment
  • Copy of the IRS notice announcing the amount of your payment
  • Amount of the payment you received

Childcare Costs
  • Canceled checks or invoices
  • Childcare provider's name
  • Provider's address
  • Provider's tax ID or social security number

Education Costs
  • Receipts for tuition (or canceled checks) for post-high school education
  • Tuition statement - Form 1098-T

Adoption Costs
  • Legal fees
  • Transportation
  • Other costs

Income Information

Income From Jobs
  • Forms W-2 for all employers for whom you and your spouse worked during the

Investment Income
  • Interest income - Form 1099-INT
  • Dividend income - Form 1099-DIV
  • Proceeds from the sale of stocks, bonds, etc. - Form 1099-B
  • Confirmation slips or brokers' statements for all stocks, etc. that you sold in
  • Schedule(s) K-1 (Form 1065) from investments in partnerships
  • Schedule(s) K-1 (Form 1120S) from investments in S Corporations
  • Income from foreign investments - Amount of foreign taxes paid
  • Income from stock option exercises and sales:
      Stock option agreement
      Stock option statement showing exercise prices of options
      Form 1099-B for proceeds from stock sale
  • Sale of employee stock purchase plan shares:
      Form 1099-B for proceeds from stock sale
      Stock price on grant date
      Stock price on purchase date
      If stock sale occurred before qualifying period begins, Form W-2 showing
      "compensation income" from a disqualifying disposition

Income from State & Local Income Tax Refunds
  • Form 1099-G from state or local governments
  • State income tax return from 2016
  • City income tax return from 2016, if any

Alimony Received
  • Bank statements or record of deposits

Business or Farming Income
  • Books/accounting records for your business, OR:
  • Invoices or billings
  • Bank statements
  • Canceled checks for expenses
  • Payroll records
In addition you need:
  • Invoices for major machinery, equipment, furniture, etc. purchases
  • Logs or other records listing vehicle mileage
  • Inventory records, if your business maintains an inventory of goods or materials

If You Use Your Home For Business
  • Square footage of your home office area
  • Total square footage of your home
  • Total rent paid, if home is rented
  • Mortgage interest reported on Form 1098
  • Property tax payments from assessor's bill, canceled checks, or
     impound records
  • Homeowner's insurance premium payments
  • Invoices for repaIRS and maintenance on your house
  • Utility bills

IRA/Pension Distributions
  • Form 1099-R for payments from IRA or retirement plans
  • Account summary form for the year for your IRA accounts, or
  • Deposit receipts and contribution records
  • If you received a distribution from an IRA account - the most-recently filed
     Form 8606, if you made contributions in prior years to IRAs that
     weren't deductible on your return

Rental Property Income
  • Profit and loss statements from your property manager, or
  • Checkbook or canceled checks for expenses
  • Form 1099-Misc or other records for rental income paid to you
  • Mortgage interest reported on Form 1098
  • Property tax payments from assessor's bill, canceled checks, or
     impound records
  • Record of suspended rental losses from prior years

Unemployment Income
  • Form 1099-G from your state unemployment agency, or
  • Unemployment check stubs and deposit

Social Security Benefits
  • Form SSA-1099

Income From Sales of Property
If the property was sold in 2017:
  • Sales proceeds - Bill of sale, escrow statement, closing statement or other
  • Cost of the property you sold - Invoices, receipts, or canceled checks
  • Improvements made to the property - Invoices or construction contracts and
     canceled checks
If the property was sold at a profit before 2017 on the installment basis:
  • Previous year's return - Form 6252, Installment Sales
  • Amount of principal collected on the installment note owed to you and the date
     you received each payment
  • Amount of interest collected on the note
  • Name, address and social security number of the buyer

Miscellaneous Income
  • Jury duty pay records
  • Form(s) W-2G for gambling and lottery winnings
  • Receipts for all gambling purchases
  • Form 1099-MISC for prizes and awards you received
  • Form 1099-MSA for distributions from medical savings accounts
  • Scholarship records (if you used the money for anything other than tuition,
     books, and supplies)
  • Director's fees receipts if you received money for serving on a corporate
     board of directors


IRA Contributions
  • Year-end account summary or bank statements

Student Loan Interest
  • Form 1098-E showing interest paid, or
  • Loan statements

Medical Savings Account Contributions
  • Account statements or
  • Canceled checks

Moving Expenses
  • Invoices from moving companies, or
  • Canceled checks and
  • Paycheck stub for moving expense reimbursements

Self-employed Health Insurance
  • Insurance premium bills, or
  • Canceled checks

Keogh & SEP Pension Plans
  • Year-end account summary, or
  • Canceled checks

Alimony Paid
  • Canceled checks

Educator Expenses
  • Canceled checks for expenses paid for classroom supplies, etc.

Itemized Deductions

Home Mortgage Interest

Home Mortgage Interest:
  • Form 1098, or
  • Your mortgage statement or bill for January, 2017
  • Form 1098 if you purchased a home in 2017
  • Your 2016 tax return if you refinanced in prior year
Investment Interest Expense:
  • Brokers' statements showing margin interest paid
  • Loan statements for loans taken out to purchase investments

Charitable Donations

Cash donations:
  • Charity bills, receipts, or canceled checks
  • Records of the mileage incurred for charitable purposes
Donations of Property:
  • Receipts from charitable agency
  • Estimated value of property given
  • Appraisal fees for expensive donations
Other charitable donations:
  • Prior years' tax returns if you have unused charitable contributions from earlier
  • Year-end paycheck stub if donations were paid through your wages

Casualty and Theft Losses
  • Description of property damaged or stolen
  • Receipts or canceled checks showing cost of property
  • Insurance policy and insurance reports showing reimbursement
  • Appraisal fees if applicable

Job Expenses
  • Reimbursement check stubs or reports from your employer
  • Union dues - paycheck stub for automatic withdrawals
  • Gifts to clients, etc. - receipts showing date, cost, description
  • Supplies - receipts or bills
  • Property purchased for use in your work - invoices, receipts
  • Uniform and special clothing costs - bills or paycheck stubs showing deductions
  • Seminar fees - receipts or invoices
  • Professional publications and books - receipts or invoices
  • Receipts for small tools and supplies you purchased
  • Job travel information:
      Invoices, receipts, or ticket stubs for transportation
      Mileage records per vehicle used
      Hotel bills
      Restaurant tickets showing name and address of establishment
      Parking fee receipts
  • Job search expenses:
      Long-distance call bills
      Resume costs (printing, mailing, resume service, etc.)
      Transportation bills and mileage records
      Employment agency fees
      Career counseling costs
  • Job-related educational expenses:
      Tuition, fee, and book receipts for education that maintains or improves      your present skills
      Transportation receipts
      Lodging receipts if you take classes away from home
Other Miscellaneous Deductions
  • Tax return preparation fees - invoices or canceled checks
  • Cost of tax return preparation software and books - receipts or canceled      checks
  • Safe deposit box rental fees from bank invoice or statement
  • IRA custodial fees (if paid from a non-IRA account)
  • Payroll records for office workers managing your investments
  • Investment advice costs: invoices or bills

Medical and Dental Expenses
  • Medical bills or canceled checks
  • Form SSA-1099 for Medicare premiums paid from your social security benefits
  • Year-end pay stub if premiums were paid through your wages      (only if the deductions were after-tax)
  • Mileage records for trips to the doctor, clinics, etc.

State and Local Income Taxes
  • Last year's state income tax return
  • Forms W-2
  • Canceled checks for state estimates paid

Real Estate Taxes
  • Tax collector bills or canceled checks
  • Form 1098 or closing statement if you bought, sold, or refinanced property in     the current year

Personal Property Taxes
  • Tax bills or canceled checks
  • Automobile licensing bills, if fees are charged annually based on value

Information on Household Employees

Household Employee Information
  • Wages paid during 2017
  • Employee's social security number

Tax Payments

Tax payments
  • Quarterly estimated tax payments - Records showing the date paid and amount
  • If you applied a tax over payment from 2016 to 2017 - your 2016 income tax      return
  • If you filed for an extension for your 2016 tax return - Canceled checks for      payments you made with the extension

Direct Deposit Information

Direct Deposit Information
If you want your tax refund deposited directly into your bank account, you need your:
  • Routing number from the lower left side of one of your checks
  • Bank account number from the bottom of check or on bank statement

Foreign Bank Account Information

Foreign Bank Account Information
  • Name of financial institution
  • Location of financial institution
  • Account number
  • Maximum value of account

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