What you need for tax preparation in 2019

DVF Tax Preparation Checklist for 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made robust changes to the nation’s tax laws and some will impact what you need to file your taxes in 2019. The one change that will likely impact most families is the increase to the Standard Deduction, which is the base dollar amount you can deduct from your income and reduce the income tax you owe.

Prior to the tax reforms, you either use the standard deduction of $6,350 or itemize your deduction. Now you can use the standard deduction of $12,000. This increase means more families will use the standard deduction and you probably won’t need as much paperwork.

The following tax preparation checklist is the best way to make sure you are prepared we you go to your Certified Public Accountant.

Personal information

First, the IRS needs to know whose taxes are being filed. So you will need:

  • Your Social Security number (and your spouse’s if filing jointly);
  • Social Security numbers for any dependents;
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if you have one);
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return;
  • Proof of identification; and
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received


Proof of Income

Then the IRS wants to know how much you made in 2018. For that you will need:

  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers (and your spouse, if filing a joint return);
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • 1099 Forms if you (or your spouse) completed contract work and earned more than $600;
  • Investment income information (This includes interest income, dividend income, proceeds from the sale of bonds or stocks, and income from foreign investments);
  • Business income;
  • Unemployment income;
  • Rental property income;
  • Social Security benefits; and
  • Miscellaneous income, including income from jury duty, lottery and gambling winnings, Form 1099-MISC for prizes and awards, and Form 1099-MSA for distributions from medical savings accounts.


Income Adjustments

This is where you start whittling down your income, hopefully into a lower bracket. To reduce your taxable income, you will need:

  • Homebuyer tax credit;

IRA contributions;

  • Mortgage interest;
  • Student loan interest;
  • Medical Savings Account contributions;
  • Self-employed health insurance; and
  • Health Coverage Statements.


Credits & Deductions

If your accountant thinks itemizing will be a better way to reduce your tax burden, you may have to provide proof of the cost of:

  • Education;
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number;
  • Adoption;
  • Charitable contributions/donations;
  • Casualty and theft losses;
  • Qualified business expenses;
  • Donations to charity and
  • Medical expenses.


Banking information

If you are lucky enough to get a refund, you can have it deposited directly into your bank account. Direct deposit reduces the amount of time it takes to get your refund. To get a direct deposit, you only need two things:

  • Your bank account number
  • The bank’s routing number

Once you have everything you need, contact your favorite local tax preparation professional to help you maximize your refund.

If you operate a small business, more information on preparing for your taxes can be found here.