When it comes to collecting up all that documentation that needs to be handy, tax season offers plenty of challenges, especially while working on your tax return. Luckily, a tax preparation checklist can focus on the situation and help you discover what’s needed to proceed.
Being prepared for a tax return checklist will help you promote your tax return preparation process and ultimately reduce your taxes.
To Use Your Tax Checklist
- Have a selected folder to file your tax document checklist on your PC.
- Save and keep all the tax documents you receive in the corresponding folder and check the list as you get them.
- Remove the items on the tax preparation checklist that does not include applicable items.
- Add any further information, not on your tax documents, such as your bank routing number for direct deposit.
Tax Preparation Planning
It is good to know your filing status as the new tax season approaches and if you even need to file taxes.
How to determine if someone needs to file a tax return?
- If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident foreign
- The amount of money you make before anything is taken out for taxes or other write-offs, i.e., your gross income is above the suggested amount.
These are the indicators that you’ll need to file a tax return for the 2021 season.
What Filing Status Should You Use?
It is vital to select the correct filing status when filing your tax return. The amount of taxes paid, many tax credits, and deductions are dependent upon the chosen filing status.
More than a filing status may apply to you, as in this case, you should work with the Tax Advisor to figure out which filing status is best for you.
The Five Filing Statuses
- Single – If you are granted unmarried and do not qualify for any other filing status, you must file single.
- Married filing Jointly Status – If you are considered married, your partner agrees to file a joint return, then you can file a married joint filing.
- Married filing Separately Status – If you won’t or cannot decide to file a joint return with your spouse, you can file as separate married filing.
- Head of Household – If you meet all of the following requirements, then you can file as head of household:
- If paid more than half of the expense of keeping up a home for the year,
- Considered or unmarried on the last day of the year,
- A qualifying person lived in your house for more than half of the year but without temporary absences like a business, illness, vacation, education, military service. The qualifying individual does not have to live with you if that person is the dependent parent.
- Qualifying Widow with dependent child – A widower or widow with one or more dependent children may use the qualifying widow with conditional child filing status.
Documents are Needed to Prepare Taxes
Read out the information to look out for and gather to help make tax planning an easy and straightforward process.
Tax Advisors will be able to give you an in-depth meeting with this information to ensure you will get all the credits and debits you have earned.
- Social Security Card(s)
- Driver’s License
- Last Year’s State Tax Returns and Federal but not always required
- Dependent Dates of Birth and Social Security Numbers.
- W-2 Forms
- Pension or Retirement Income
- Unemployment Income
- Social Security Income
- Interest and Dividend Income
- Sales of Stocks and Bonds
- Form Lottery or Gambling Winnings
- Cancellation of Debt
- State Income Tax Refund Amount
- IRA Contributions
- Commissions Received
- Alimony Paid or Received
Misc Self Employed Income & Expenses
- Income and Expenses from Rentals
- Commissions Paid
- Record of Purchase or Sale of Residence
- Schedule K-1 Income from Partnerships,
- Trusts and Estates
- S Corporations,
- Estimated Tax Payments
Personal Expense Information
- Provider & Child Care Expenses Information
- Home Equity Loan Interest Paid & Mortgage
- Tuition and Education Fees
- Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes Paid
- Student Loan Interest
Place the documents in a dedicated folder as financial statements begin to roll in or binder and mark tax information.
You can also place your mortgage interest document, W2s giving contribution statement, and any other tax-related forms in this brochure. It will also make it a simple process; this will make it easy for you when a qualified Tax Advisor is preparing your taxes.