1. Social Security details
Among the most important things a CPA, tax preparer, or tax preparation software will need to file your tax return are the full names and Social Security numbers, or tax identification numbers, of you, your spouse, and your dependents.
The easiest way to ensure all spellings and numbers will be correct on your tax return is to provide:
• The Social Security cards for all people included on your tax return.
• Another form of identification to prove that the Social Security information is yours. Any government-issued ID that includes a photograph will work, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state identification card.
Even though your employer should report your income directly to the IRS, your tax preparer will also need the information on your W-2 form(s) to complete your tax forms.
• If you hold more than one job, you’ll need to provide W-2s from each employer.
• If your employer makes a mistake on your W-2 and issues you a form W-2c, bring the corrected W-2c, as well.
Other income statements your tax preparer will need to file your return include your:
• W-2G, if you had certain types of gambling winnings
• 1099-R, if you received distributions from a pension, annuity, IRA, insurance contract and other retirement accounts.
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 in the mail, share them with your tax preparer.
• Form 1099 and Form 1099-MISC for self-employment income
• 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 SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits
4. Tax deduction documents
Tax deductions can 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
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,
• Charitable contributions,
• IRA contributions, and
• Certain education expenses.
If you’re self-employed, many business expenses are also tax deductible. To document both personal and business expenses, make sure you have all your receipts, invoices, medical bills, and mileage logs.
It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your latest tax return on hand. Your tax return will serve not only as a roadmap to your typical income and deductions, but also point out any major changes that may have occurred in the last year and any possible discrepancies between your returns.