First things first

In January, employers and other agencies will begin submitting the tax forms needed to file. Before you meet with a tax preparer or begin filing online, it’s important to make sure you have all the forms you may need. These documents can be used for both, your federal and California state returns.

Personal documents

– Your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

– Photo identification.

income documents

– W-2 forms from any employer you worked for in 2020.

– 1099 forms for any contract work you have completed if you earned more than $600 in total.

– Unemployment income or Social Security benefits.

– Earnings from prior year state and local tax returns.

– Income from any rental property you may own.

Deduction documents

– Contributions to a Medical Savings Account (MSA).

– Contributions to an IRA account.

– Interests of Investments, Shares or other properties.

– Costs related to child care (including the provider’s tax identification number) or adoption.

– Costs related to education (1098-T and 1098-E).

– Costs related to home ownership (1098 for mortgage interest, property taxes, energy-saving improvements, or other expenses).

other documents

– Receipts for charitable donations.

– Receipts for moving expenses for active military.

– Receipts for job search expenses.

– Records related to property loss or insurance claims from a federally declared disaster.

– Bank account and bank routing number if you want your refund to be directly deposited.

Finally we have to tell you:

Having the correct documents on hand can help make the process go much more smoothly and ensure you get the maximum refund and tax deductions or credits. If you’re not sure if you should bring specific documents or receipts, bring them anyway. Better to have more information and not need it than to lose important forms. Don’t forget: If you’re filing a joint return, both you and your spouse must be present to sign your return.