We’ve still got plenty of time before the last day to file taxes, so you’ve got time to get ready.
But even if you want to purposefully wait till the last minute, it doesn’t hurt to start pulling together your information.
I still try to follow the boy scout motto: be prepared!
If you’re expecting a refund, well then you probably want to get that money as soon as you can, right? Sure you do. You want that money as quick as possible so you can put it to good use in your own financial situation. Stop procrastinating and get your taxes filed today.
I’ve put together a quick list of things you may need to file your tax return, whether you’re using a CPA or other tax professional, or whether you are doing it yourself through a service like TurboTax, H&R Block At Home, or QuickTax (for Canadians).
Tax Preparation Checklist
This is by no means a comprehensive list. Just something to get you started. Be sure to check with your tax professional or use your software as a guide to ensure you’ve got everything covered. For a more comprehensive list, be sure to check out the TurboTax list below.
- Your family and dependant’s Social Security Numbers
- Your bank account and routing number (to have your refund direct deposited)
- A list of the taxes you’ve paid during the year (estimated tax payment, sales taxes, property taxes, etc.)
- W-2′s and other income tax forms (1099′s, Schedule K-1, etc.)
- IRA contribution information
- Education information (tuition paid, student loan interest paid, etc)
- Home mortgage interest paid
- Medical expenses
- Job search and moving related expenses
- Charitable donations
One of the benefits to using an online tax service is that you can save your progress and come back to the return at a later time. So, having your items in order before you begin isn’t as important as say going into a CPAs office expecting to your your return prepared.
If you don’t have everything ready for you CPA, you’re going to have to go home and get that info, wasting gas money and time on a return trip. Avoid that situation by having everything ready the first time using this checklist. Most CPAs will provide you with an organizer packet as well. So be sure to request that if you didn’t receive it in the mail.
Extra: For a more comprehensive list, check out this checklist put together by the folks at TurboTax: TurboTax – Tax Preparation Checklist
What about you? Do you do your own taxes? Do you use software, a service, or a CPA? If so, how do you ensure they have everything covered?