Tax Checklist: What do you need to file your taxes?

A Handy Tax Checklist: What do you need to file your taxes?

Gathering important tax documents is always the first step when tax season arrives. Whether it is for personal or business taxes, having the right frame of reference on what documents to gather will go a long way. Below are a few tips to get started and items to keep on your radar each year before January arrives

tax checklist

Common tax documents for personal tax

Once you’ve settled on who will do your taxes, you need to gather your records.

Hopefully, you’ve developed a record-keeping system — either electronic or paper — that keeps important information in one place.

By having all the needed documents on hand before you start, you will help your tax preparer file a complete and accurate income tax return.

There are also a few other things that your preparer will need to submit your return to the Internal Revenue Service.

Typically, these forms start arriving by mail (or email if you are opted in) in January. Review them over carefully and, if any of the information shown is inaccurate, contact the payer right away for a correction.

The IRS Checklist

• Proof of identification (photo ID)

• Social Security cards for you, your spouse, and your dependents. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse, and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number.

• Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

• Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return

• Wage and earning statements from all employers. This includes year-end Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, other income documents, virtual currency transactions.

• Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

• Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received, or Forms 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the Premium Tax Credit

• A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

• Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check

• To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

• Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying numbers such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number

• Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements

• Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

What business documents should you keep for taxes?

What business documents should you keep for taxes?

The cornerstone of any business is its documents and record-keeping processes. Good records will help you do much with your business, including monitoring the progress of your business, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make.

Keeping good records can increase the likelihood of business success and keep you from paying too much, or too little, in taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service suggests you keep these records for at least four years and up to seven years, to be safe.

  INFOGRAPHIC: Business Document to Keep


Kinds of Business Documents To Keep

Except in a few cases, the law does not require any specific kind of records. With the help of your financial advisor, you can choose any recordkeeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses.

While the system is variable, the types of records you keep aren’t.

1. A summary of your business transactionsYour books must show your gross income, as well as your deductions and credits. For most small businesses, the business checkbook is the main source for entries in the business books.

2. Electronic records. All requirements that apply to hard copy books and records also apply to electronic storage systems that maintain tax books and records. An electronic storage system, like Quickbooks, is any system for preparing or keeping your records either by electronic imaging or by transfer to an electronic storage media.

3. Gross receipts. Gross receipts are the income you receive from your business. These include cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, invoices, and credit card charge slips.

4. Inventory. This is any item you buy and resell to customers. If you are a manufacturer or producer, this includes the cost of all raw materials or parts purchased for manufacture into finished products.

5. Expenses. These are the costs you incur to carry on your business. Your expenses should show the amount paid and that the amount was for a business expense.

6. Assets. These are the property, such as machinery and furniture you own and use in your business. You need records to figure the annual depreciation and the gain or loss when you sell the assets.

If you need to discuss your business’s financial records, record-keeping or Quickbooks, contact us for more information.