What you really need to do your taxes

Use this checklist as a guide to organize your tax documents. It can save you time and remind you which tax documents you've gathered throughout the year.

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Personal Data

Sure, you may be is worried about identity theft.  But, your tax preparer will definitely will need proof of the Social Security Number for you, your spouse, and all dependents.  Be prepared to show the actual cards.  A good tax preparer will probably require a photocopy of the SS cards for his records. Social Security Numbers (or copy of SS card) for Taxpayer, spouse, children and other dependents.
Your tax preparer will definitely need the birthdate for you, your spouse and all other dependents.  If you can't verify these birthdates, then your return could be delayed.  Be prepared to provide the correct birthdates. Date of birth for taxpayer, spouse, and all dependents
Banks require picture ID for all Refund Anticipation Loan.  A good tax preparer will probably require a photocopy of your picture ID in his records.  A current Military ID, current Driver's License, or current State issued ID card are all OK. Picture ID for taxpayer and spouse if you plan on applying for a Refund Anticpation Loan.

Income Data

Employment Income Data

Really think now!  Do you have a W-2 from every place you worked this year? Employer's have until January 31st to send them to you.  Make sure you have them all before you try to file your return. Form(s) W-2 for the tax year (for every place you worked)
Form K1 reports many types of income and expenses for Partnerships, Trusts, and Sub-S Corporations.  The tax returns for these entities aren't due to be filed until March 15th, so the K1 may not be available to you before then.  If you have ownership in one of the entities, watch for the K1 to arrive after March 15th and include it with the data for your tax return. Form(s) K1 - from Partnership(s), Trust(s), and Sub-S Corporation(s) where you have ownership
Scholarships and fellowships

Self-Employment Data

Form 1099-MISC reports miscellaneous income.  There are several boxes indicating the type of income.  Payer's must report income of $600 or more to unincorporated business or individuals.  The Form 1099-MISC is requred to be sent out by February 15th.  If you received this type of income, you must report it whether or not you received a Form 1099-MISC. Form(s) 1099-MISC Miscellaneous income
If you operate a small business or Business income and expenses including receipts and/or documentation
If you operate a farm, you must file a Schedule F to report your income and expenses.  This determines your taxable profit.  Be sure to have all of your documentation for income and expenses, including any Form 1099-MISCs receive (see above).  You may also be required to file a Schedule SE if you have profit of $400 or more.  There are many special rules that apply to farmers and reporting farm income.  You tax preparer can inform you of the ones that apply to you.  NOTE:  You may need to file your tax return before March 1st to meet the special rules on paying tax estimates that apply to farmers. Farm income and expenses including receipts and/or documentation
The Schedule K1 - Form 1065 reports items of income and expense to a partnership owner.  This type of ownership will require you to file a Schedule E.  Since some partnership income is also self-employment income, you may need to file a Schedule SE also.  Calendar year Partnership returns are required to be filed by April 15th.  Check with your Partnerships 'Tax Matters Partner' about your K1.  Your tax preparer may need to file an extension of time to file for your tax return. Schedule(s) K-1 - Partnership income
The assets you acquire, such as tools and equipment, vehicles, etc., are depreciated over their useful life.  If you purchased, traded, or sold any of those assets during the tax year, provide complete details to your tax preparer.  The correct handling of asset purchases is a very important tax decision.  Trades/Sales of assets may generate taxable income, requiring Form 4797 to be filed.  You should always discuss trades or sales of assets with your tax preparer before making the trade or sale. Depreciable Asset purchases and/or sales and trades of assets used in your business or on your farm

Other Income Data

You should receive a Form 1099-INT from the payer by February 1st.  However, many bank utilize a 'Substitute' Form 1099-INT.  They show your interest income for the tax year on the first statement issued after the end of the year.  You may also receive a 'Substitute' Form 1099-INT from your brokerage account.  Private payers may not send you a Form 1099-INT.  Even if you did not receive a Form 1099-INT, you are responsible for reporting all interest income received. Interest income statements - you should receive Form(s) 1099-INT or 1099-OID from the payer
You should receive a Form 1099-DIV from the payer by February 1st, if you hold the stock directly.  If the stock is/was held in brokerage account, you should receive a 'Substitute' Form 1099-DIV on your yearend brokerage statement.  NOTE: Brokerage statements are frequently late or reissued after February 1st. Dividend income statements - you should receive Form(s) 1099-DIV from the company or holding brokerage
You should receive a Form 1099-B by February 1st.  Usually, it will be a ' Subtitute' Form 1099-B that is part of your yearend brokerage statement.  NOTE: Brokerage statements are frequently late or reissued after February 1st. Proceeds from broker transactions - you should receive Form(s) 1099-B, include the date and purchase amount for each transaction
While the sale of your home may not be taxable, you should provide this information to your tax preparer.  Sales of other real estate usually require some type of entry in your tax return, so you tax preparer will need complete information.  Unfortunately, we find closing attorneys are lax in providing Form 1099-S.  So, if you sold real estate, tell your tax preparer the details. Sale of your home or other real estate - you should receive Form(s) 1099-S from the closing attorney
The State and/or Local Income Tax Refund from your prior year's tax return may or may not be taxble this year depending on the details of the prior year return.  Always provide any Form(s) 1099-G and a copy of yoru prior year's tax return to your tax preparer so that he can determine the taxablility of these refund. State and local income tax refund from prior year tax return - you will receive Form(s) 1099-G
Alimony received - you must track and report this yourself
Pensions, annuities, and IRA distributions for the year - you will receive Form(s) 1099-R
Rental Income & expenses from properties you own or have for rent including Form(s) 1099-MISC showing Rents
If you (or your spouse) are receiving Social Security Benefits, be sure to provide your Form(s) SSA-1099 to your tax preparer.  It will be needed to determine if any of your SS is taxable.  The Form(s) SSA-1099 also include information about your Medicare payment that will be need as part of your Medical Expenses discussed later. Social Security Benefits - you will receive a Form(s) SSA-1099 statement for the tax year
Gambling and lottery winnings - payer reports on Form(s) W-2G) usually one for each winning visit
Prizes and awards - usually reported by payer to you on Form 1099-MISC
If you receive unemployment income during the year, don't jump the gun and file your return before you recieve your Form(s) 1099-G from the state's unemployment commission.  It will show your unemployment income and any Federal or State withholding that may have been made. Unemployment compensation for the tax year - usually reported by the state to you on Form(s) 1099-G
If a lender cancels or
					forgives a debt you owe of
					$600 or more, this form must be provided to you. Generally, you must include all canceled amounts, even if less than $600, on the 'Other income' line of Form 1040.  However, some canceled debts are not includible, or fully includible, in your income.  Be prepared to provide full details to your tax preparer. Debt cancellation - usually reported to you by the lender(s) on Form(s) 1099-C.
If the amount in box 4 is less than the amount in box 2, and your debt is canceled, you may have cancellation of debt income. If the property was your main home, see Pub. 523, Selling Your Home, to figure any taxable gain or ordinary income. Abandonment of secured property - usually reported to you by the lien holder(s) on Form(s) 1099-A.
Jury duty pay - you must track and report this yourself

Adjustments to Income

SEP, Keogh, and IRA contributions
Medical Savings Account(s) contributions
Student loan interest paid
Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other time deposits
Health insurance premiums if you are self-employed
Moving expenses
Alimony paid including the SSN and name of the party paid to

Deduction Documents

Medical Expenses

Expenses for doctors, hospitals, nurses, medical insurance, prescription drugs, and mileage to and from medical services. Do not include items reimbursed by insurance or pre-tax paid insurance plan premiums.

Taxes paid

Federal taxes due for 2014 paid in 2015
Federal 2015 estimated tax vouchers paid for 2015 (April, June, September 2015 & January 2016)
State & local income taxes due for 2014 paid in 2015
State & local 2015 estimated tax vouchers paid for 2015 (April, June, September 2015 & January 2016)
If your real estate taxes are paid by your mortgage holder from your escrow account, the amount paid will be on the Form 1098 sent to you.  Otherwise, you should have a copy of your real estate tax statment that you paid. Real estate taxes paid
This is one of the most overlooked items.  Always keep a copy of the property tax bill and provide it to your tax preparer. Personal property taxes paid on automobiles, boats, trailers, etc.

Interest paid

Mortgage interest - reported by the recipient to you on Form(s) 1098
Second mortgage or home equity line interest paid - reported by the recipient to you on Form(s) 1098
The yearend statement from your brokerage account will show any margin interest paid.  However, if you have borrowed money to purchase investment assets, the interest paid on that loan may be deductible.  Provide the details to your tax preparer. Interest paid on debt incurred to purchase investment assets, margin account interest

Contribuitions to Charities

Gifts by check, cash, or payroll deductions (receipts for any single donations of $250 or more are necessary)
Unreimbursed expenses related to charitable work including mileage for such activities.
Documentation for non-cash contributions. Receipts and lists of the items with value at the time of the gift. Some items may require more documentation.

Casualty or theft losses

Information about each separate occurence when you were not at fault or negligent.

Job Expenses and Most Other Miscellaneous deductions

Unreimbursed expenses related to your job

Travel expenses that are business related
Meals and Entertainment that are business related
Uniforms
Union dues
Subscriptions
Tools and Equipment

Tax return preparation expenses and fees
Investment expenses
IRA managment fees
Job-hunting expenses including travel
Education expenses

Other deductions

The IRS requires very specific information to document your losses.  The format and content along with the timing of the record is critical.  If you expect to deduct gambling losses, discuss this upfront with your tax preparer. Gambling losses to the extent of gambling winnings - a detailed log is required

Creditable Expenses

The State of NC requires your child care expenses to be separated for dependents under age 7 and over age 7.  Be sure to have this recorded and provide it to your tax preparer that way. Child care expenses, break down by child with amounts for under and over 7 years of age.
Normally, your child care provider will give you their Tax ID or Social Security Number on a statement showing the total you paid them during the year.  You will need their name, ID number, and address. Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number
Adoption expenses
Higher education tuition expenses for taxpayer, spouse, or dependent children - you should receive Form(s) 1098-T
Certain mortgages are eligible for a Mortgage Credit.  If your is, you received a Certificate stating that fact along with the Credit Percentage.  Your tax preparer will need that information along with the Form 1098 from that mortgage holder. Mortgage Credit Certificate for eligible mortgages along with the Form 1098 for that mortgage.

Homeowner/Renter Data (in some states)

Residential address(es) for the tax year
Rent paid during the tax year

Automobiles

Auto loans and leases (account numbers, car value, and interest paid) if vehicle used for business
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