Checklist: End of year tax items to gather

Checklist: End of year tax items to gather

The end of the year brings holiday cheer, along with new year’s resolutions and, for many, some extra free time. While working on your taxes might not sound like the most exciting way to spend that time, it can be a smart idea for a number of reasons. First off, it can save you lots of time during the otherwise busy tax season. Perhaps even more importantly, though, it can save you money, too.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the basic information everyone should know about end-of-year tax planning, along with a checklist of the most important items you should be gathering now to make your life easier in the spring.

Tax Info to Understand

They say that knowledge is power, and that’s certainly true when it comes to optimizing your tax situation. By understanding a few basic facts about your obligations, you can work to minimize your financial burden.

Know your filing status

There are five main categories you can file under in the United States:

  • Single individual. Appropriate for many unmarried people.
  • Married filing jointly. Generally beneficial compared to “single individual.”
  • Married person filing separately. For cases when married filing jointly is disadvantageous.
  • Head of household. Ideal for unmarried people with dependents.
  • Qualifying widow(er). Beneficial for parents who have recently lost their spouse.


Based on your life situation, you may qualify for more than one type of filing status, in which case you can choose the one that works best for you. For example, “married filing jointly” usually results in a lower tax burden; however, couples with widely disparate incomes may be able to claim more deductions by filing separately.

Expected Brackets

It’s also important to understand what tax bracket you fall into this year, and how much you expect to make next year. This will allow you to inform financial decisions that benefit you in the long run. For example, if you expect your income to increase next year, you may wish to defer deductible expenses until January so you can apply those deductions to your larger future tax bill. The 2022-2023 tax brackets in the United States are:


  • 10% of income from $0 up to $10,275
  • 12% of income from $10,276  up to $41,775
  • 22% of income from $41,776 up to $89,075.
  • 24% of income from $89,076 up to $170,050.
  • 32% of income from $170,051 up to $215,950.
  • 35% of income from $215,951 up to $539,900.
  • 37% of income above $539,901.


You will be taxed bracket-by-bracket regardless of total income: for example, your first $10,275 will be taxed at ten percent whether you make $20,000 a year or $200,000 a year.

Documents to Collect

Now that you understand your filing status and tax bracket, let’s take a look at the items you’ll want to collect now to make your account work easy during tax season:

Personal Information

  • DOB, SSN, and government-issued ID for yourself, your spouse, and all dependents.
  • Routing and account numbers to make payments and receive refunds.
  • Any and all correspondence with the IRS
  • Previous tax returns, especially from the last 2 fiscal years.

Income Information

  • All form W-2s.
  • Unemployment form 1099-G (if applicable)
  • IRS Letter 6419 shows total Advance Child Tax Credit payments.
  • 1099 and K-1 forms (if self-employed)
  • Records of all self-employment-related expenses, including tax payments.
  • Information related to your home office (if applicable)
  • Rental income and expense ledger, along with estimated tax payments
  • 1099-R for retirement income such as pensions, IRAs, and annuities.
  • Social security income.
  • Records of all income from savings, investments, and dividends.
  • Records of all expenses related to your investments.
  • Records of other income: state refunds, gambling income, hobbies, prizes, awards, etc.
  • Mortgage interest statements.
  • Property tax records.

Deduction Information

  • Records of any donations, along with the number of miles driven for charitable purposes.
  • Medical expenses, including bills, miles driven, and other travel expenses.
  • Form 1095-A if you have health insurance from a state marketplace.
  • Childcare expenses, i.e. daycare costs and/or babysitter wages.
  • Records of scholarships or fellowships.
  • Form 1098-E for student loan interest
  • Forms 1098-T from universities and other educational institutions.
  • Receipts on your educational expenses.
  • Records of state and local income tax payments, including sales tax, real estate tax, and personal property taxes.
  • Retirement account contributions.

Business End-of-Year Checklist

The end of the year is also an important time for companies to gather tax documents. After all, business taxes can be even more complex than individual returns — and business tax bills can be larger, too. Here’s a list of documents that you should be gathering now to make tax time easier for your organization.


  • End-of-year profit and loss statements, along with your balance sheet.
  • W2s for all employees, along with a W-3 summary.
  • 1099s and 1099 NECs for all contractors.
  • Forms 1096, which summarizes contractor payments.
  • Forms 940 for unemployment tax and form 941 for employee withholding.
  • Forms 1095-C for employee healthcare if you are an ALE (Applicable Large Employer.)
  • Form 1094-C, which summarizes all 1095-C forms filed by your organization.


As with personal taxes, business tax obligations and situations vary greatly. If you are working with a CPA, now is a good time to reach out and make sure your accountant doesn’t have any additional requests, questions, or tasks for you.

End-of-Year Tax Opportunities

The end of one fiscal year, along with the start of another, can bring certain tax opportunities to savvy individuals and organizations. As mentioned earlier, for example, it may be advantageous to defer an expense (or a bonus) into the new year. Or, conversely, in other situations, it may be smart to do just the opposite and make a few moves before the current tax year ends.

Now is also a good time to ensure you have a solid plan for actually completing this year’s tax work before the deadline is looming in the near future. Dempsey, Vantrease, and Follis PLLC can help. We are a creative and forward-thinking accounting firm and consultancy dedicated to helping individuals and companies optimize their tax situation and maximize their financial resources. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!