What Documents do I Need to File my Taxes?

Written by Eric Beepat

I started my career working for leading global accounting firms and moved on to other jobs in accounting, audit and consulting. Along the way, I developed an interest in real estate and became a realtor to help people to the path of home ownership. You can find me doing real estate at http://hudsoncountynjliving.com. Although, I am still currently a Realtor, having my CPA and seeing the need to help individuals and small business led me to open my own CPA business. What qualifies me to do so? Besides being a CPA, my parents have had multiple small businesses throughout the years.  They still have a small business even to this day, and I have been helping them navigate through business and tax world.  I want to extend my financial skills for my community. I am hopeful that the firm will serve a need that will always be there and can be quite complicated – tax and accounting.

Every situation is different, but here is a list of some items that required:

  1. Proof of your identity, identities of your family members, Social Security documents
  2. Income statements such as W-2s and 1099s
  3. Tax forms that report other types of income, such as Schedule K-1 for trusts, partnership and S corporations
  4. Tax deduction records
  5. Documentation of Expenses – You should have receipts support
  6. Expense Receipts – Medical, Childcare, Self-Employment Expenses, etc.

1.  Proof of Identity & Social Security Documents

To get started, the most important items needed are the are the full names and Social Security numbers of you, your spouse, and your dependents.

Tax Preparers will ask for the following to ensure that spelling and numbers entered in your return are correct:

Social Security cards for all people included on your tax return
Government-issued ID that includes a photograph (driver’s license, passport, or state identification card)

2.  Income statements

Your employer reports your income to the IRS.  You as an employee will receive a W-2 form.

A W-2 form is needed from every employer during the year to complete your tax forms
If your employer makes a mistake on your W-2 and issues you a form W-2c, provide this form as well
Other income statements your tax preparer will need to file your return include your:

W-2G if you had gambling winnings
1099R, if you received distributions from a pension, annuity, IRA, insurance contract and other retirement accounts.

3.  Other types of income

If you’re self-employed or you receive income from other sources, you’ll need to report that information on your tax return. If you’ve received any of the following IRS Forms, provide them.

Form 1099 and 1099-MISC for self-employment income
Form 1099-A for foreclosure of a home
Form 1099-B for proceeds from broker transactions
Form 1099-C for cancellation of debt
Form 1099-DIV for dividends and distributions
Form 1099-G for unemployment income or a state tax refund
Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID for interest income
Form 1099-K for business or rental income processed by third-party networks
Form 1099-LTC for Long Term Care reimbursements
Form 1099-Q for payments from qualified education programs
Form 1099-S proceeds from the sales of property
Form 1099-SA for Health Savings Account and Medical Savings Account distributions
Form SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits
Form RRB-1099 for railroad retirement benefits
Basically, any tax document or income received, share it. For a list of all IRS Forms and Publications click HERE.

4.  Tax deduction documents

Tax Deduction reduce your taxable income and, ultimately, your tax bill.   Here are some forms you’ll need to document your major deductions:

  • Form 1098, your Mortgage Interest Statement, which comes from the company that services your mortgage loan
  • Form 1098-E, for interest you paid on a student loan during the preceding year
    Form 1098-T, the Tuition Statement, documenting how much you paid in tuition for post-secondary education
  • Form 1040ES for a record of estimated tax payments made

5.  Receipts for expenses

If you’d like to deduct expenses from your personal or business income taxes, share your receipts for those expenses with your tax preparer. Tax-deductible personal expenses include:

  • Medical Bills
  • IRA Contributions
  • Charitable contributions
  • Certain Education Expenses

If you’re self-employed/business owner, many business expenses are also tax deductible. Hopefully, you are using an accounting system such as QuickBooks to document and business expenses and that you have your receipts, invoices, medical bills, and mileage logs for back up support.

If You’re Missing Documents – You can get copies several ways:

  1. Missing a W-2? – ask your employer to give you a new copy. 
  2. Missing a 1099? – 1099s come from several sources and replacement depends on the type of income it reports. You probably can download additional copies from your financial institutions (bank, brokerage, etc.). Contact your clients for missing 1099-MISC forms.
  3. The IRS receives copies of all your tax documents, so either you or me as your accountant, can request copies by using the Get Transcript Online HERE. Ask for a copy of your “Wage and Income Transcript.” Specify the year for which you’re missing documents. You’ll have to register with the website and take steps to confirm your identity. Note that a signed Form 2848 or 8821 is needed for me to get your transcripts. The wage and income transcripts are a computer printout of the information contained in your tax documents reported to the IRS. State and local tax withholdings won’t show up, so you might want to contact the institutions that appear on the transcript to obtain a copy of those original documents.

Lastly, it is a good idea to provide a copy of your prior year tax return. It will give an idea of your situation and your typical income and deductions and point out any major changes that may have occurred.

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