Tax Document Checklist: Don’t File Without these Forms

tax document checklist

The countdown is on until tax day. With just a short time away from the tax deadline, if you haven’t started preparing your taxes, there is no time like the present. It is important to file your taxes on time to avoid unnecessary penalties from the IRS. However, it is also important to prepare your taxes accurately. Before you get started, you should have the documents you need in hand. At the very least, make sure you have the items listed in our tax document checklist. 

 What Documents Do I Need for Taxes?

Accurate record-keeping is fundamental to preparing accurate tax returns. It also makes preparing your tax return a lot easier, if you don’t have to scramble for all of the pertinent information. You will need to have your tax forms available, like W2s and 1099. You also need detailed records of your expenses to support your deductions.

This tax document checklist will help you get organized before you sit down to prepare your taxes.

Tax Document Checklist: Form W2

If you work for an employer, you’re probably a W2 employee. At the end of the tax year, employers typically issue W2 Forms to their employees. The W2 contains information about total income and tax withholding, and it’s the most important tax document for most employees. Use the information listed in your W2 as the primary reference for your taxes because the IRS gets a copy too. If there are any discrepancies, they’ll want an explanation. .

1099 Forms

Most self-employed workers and business owners are familiar with 1099 forms. There are various types of 1099s, but they have some common attributes. Form 1099 is an information return that reports non-wage-based forms of income. Some of the most common types of 1099 forms you may be familiar with include:

1099 MISC

Form 1099-MISC reports miscellaneous income. Self employed individuals and those who work freelance should receive a 1099 MISC from their clients anytime they earn $600 or more. Likewise, you may also need to issue a 1099 MISC if you paid another professional more than $600. 

1099 K

Third-party payment processors like Uber, Lyft, and Upwork issue 1099 K forms to certain users. Sharing economy apps like Turo, Airbnb, and VBRO, also issue 1099K Forms in some instances.

You may receive a 1099 K if you have more than 200 transactions and over $20K in revenue. If you don’t meet these requirements, you won’t receive a 1099K Form. However, you need to report the income on your tax return either way. 

1099 INT

Banks issue Form 1099 INT to individuals who earn more than $10 in interest per year, or more than $600 in business-related expenses. 

1099 DIV

This form is for people who own stocks or other securities. You might get one if you received more than $10 in dividends or other distributions. 

1099 B

If you sold any stocks over the year, you might receive a 1099 B form. This form lists the amount sold, the date, and the cost basis of the sale. 

1099 R

You might receive Form 1099-R if you received a distribution from an IRA, ROTH IRA,  or 401 (K). This form reports withdrawals over $10. 

1099 G

This form reports unemployment information, local tax refunds, agricultural payments, and taxable grants exceeding $10 or more. 

Remember, the IRS also gets a copy of your 1099 forms, so make sure you report your income accurately. Don’t even think about fudging the numbers because the IRS already knows about the income. 

Mortgage Statement

If you have a mortgage and plan to deduct the mortgage interest paid, you will need to have your 1098 available. Mortgage lenders use this form to provide details on the interest you paid through the year. 

Profit or Loss from Business (Schedule C)

A profit and loss statement (P&L) is good to have on hand before you prepare your taxes. It used to help you calculate your business net income to determine tax liability.  Your accounting program should have this report available and usually can transfer the information to your schedule C. 

Retirement Savings Contributions (IRS Form 8880)

In order to qualify for the saver’s tax credit, you will need to know your AGI as well as how much you contributed to a qualified plan. Your end of year statement should have your contribution information. 

Depreciation Records

Business assets like equipment, tools, and vehicles can be depreciated over the course of its useful life. You will need to have detailed accounting records in order to depreciate your assets. Have this information readily available before you start to prepare your return.

Vehicle Logs

If you plan on deducting your vehicle costs, you have two options: the standard mileage deductions or actual accounting of all expenses. The standard mileage deduction is the simplest, all you need to do is keep track of your mileage. However, if you choose to account for each individual expense, you will need to keep track of every receipt. This method involves a little more math, however, if you put a lot of mileage on your vehicles, it may be more beneficial to itemize each expanse. 

Home Office Deduction Information

The home office deduction allows you to claim $5 per square foot up to 300 square feet or $1,500. It is important to note that in order to qualify for the home office deduction, you must have a designated space specifically for the purpose of conducting business. The home office deductions account for the average cost of mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, and depreciation. 

Estimated Tax Payment Records

You may be liable for estimated tax payments if you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes. If you made estimated tax payments they need to get reported on Schedule 3 as part of your 1040. Keep track of all estimated tax payments you make over the year. 

Get Tax Prep Help Now

The tax deadline is right around the corner, so we hope this tax document checklist helps your get your documents in order. The tax experts at Shared Economy can help you maximize deductions and take advantage of all available credits. Get started now with a one-on-one strategy session with a Shared Economy tax expert today. Subscribe to our newsletter below for more free tax tips.