With the whole process of filing taxes being confusing in itself, it is important to make sure that you have all the documents that you need ahead of time to alleviate some of the stress and confusion that comes with the process. Tax attorneys are trained to assist you in preparing your state taxes and federal taxes, but they can only do so if you have all of the paperwork ready and in hand. Whether you choose to do it yourself or bring it in to a qualified tax preparer, here is a list of the documentation you need to have close by:
First and foremost, make sure that you have your W-2 form (of W-2 forms depending on how many jobs you hold with different employers). The W-2 form should be sent to you from each employer. This is one of the most important IRS forms to keep track of.
If you have received any 1099 forms, make sure you have those readily accessible as well. 1099 forms are printed by the bank when you have accrued more than $10 in interest. 1099 forms are also the forms commonly given to independent contractors.
Here is a list of other forms you will want to have ready:
- Social Security Statements
- Records of income and expenses for self-employment
- Receipts or bill records
- Documentation on tuition expenses
- Dividend and interest statements
- Proof of alimony received and/or childcare expenses
- Proof of rental property income
- Proof of charitable donations
Having all of these documents nearby will allow you or your accountant to breeze through the IRS forms. Keep track of where you put them throughout the year so that you can easily pull it out in a binder or spreadsheet to move the process right along.