The Official PT Money Tax Preparation Checklist

Time to file your taxes if you haven't already!

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).

I've put together a quick list of things you may need to file your tax return. This tax preparation checklist will help, whether you're using a CPA or other tax professional, or whether you are doing it yourself through a service like TurboTax.

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.

  1. Your family and dependents' Social Security Numbers
  2. Your bank account and routing number (to have your refund direct deposited)
  3. A list of the taxes you've paid during the year (estimated tax payment, sales taxes, property taxes, etc.)
  4. W-2's and other income tax forms (1099's, Schedule K-1, etc.)
  5. IRA contribution information
  6. Education information (tuition paid, student loan interest paid, etc)
  7. Home mortgage interest paid
  8. Medical expenses
  9. Job search and moving related expenses
  10. Charitable donations

Read more: 5 Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund

One of the benefits to using an online tax service (see our TurboTax review) 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.

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?

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Last Edited: June 27, 2017 @ 2:37 pmThe content of is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, podcaster, FinCon Founder, husband, and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Listen to the new podcast, Masters of Money!


  1. Michael Gellings says:

    @Amy Spairana How much does H&R block charge for a home business?

  2. Amy Spairana says:

    I use H&R block online. So easy and the check lists they ask you in the beginning help to ensure all your bases are covered, even for a small home business owner like me.

  3. Lauren Deckert says:

    Do my own!

  4. Thanks, this is a useful resource.

    It’s funny how perceptions can lead to tax-time-torture. My wife and I file jointly. We both sit in front of the computer and prepare our return together. It’s my job to collate all the infrmation, so that when we are putting it together, it’s all at our finger tips.

    My understanding of having the information, is being able to find it in under a minute. Like fnding the site, or the statement. Her understanding is that all the information is sitting in a neat binder directly in front of us. She thinks we are totally disorganised, I think we are totally on top of it.

    I love taxes. Ha!

  5. @Hunter – Wow. That sounds like Mrs PT and I. Except she’s not even sitting there with me. 🙂

    I definitely use the find it when you need it method too. Still checklists are good for assurance that the software or CPA didn’t miss anything.

  6. Thanks for the check list! Great list to have.

  7. Thanks! Indeed it is. I still have to file myself.

  8. Sweet list Philip! Time to file baby…

  9. Mrs PT’s Tax Preparation Checklist:

    *CPA for a husband — check
    *CPA for a father-in-law — check
    *job that delivers payment in hugs and drool, but taxed in dirty diaper — check, check!!

  10. Jason @ One Money Design says:

    PT, thanks for linking over! Good checklist to get ready for filing taxes.

  11. I’ve been doing my taxes myself since I was 15, and I’m not than two that in age now, so no one gets my business but me. Thanks for the checklist! I wish my employer would send out the W-2 sooner than later because I am all ready to go!

  12. Thanks for the checklist, I’ve been starting to get receipts together. Gotta make sure my blogging expenses are covered!

  13. Pete – You’re doing it yourself? This will be the year I bring in a hired gun.

    MD – I’m loving that new gravatar. Loved your article on Untemplater this week.

  14. Thanks for link PT! A lot of great resources here.

  15. Thanks for the link – and for the tax prep checklist. Good to have as much organization help as I can get with my taxes this year!