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2017 tax preparation checklist

The IRS created a tax preparation checklist for 2017. Our tax experts at Tax Help Center approve the list! Whether you have are having a certified tax preparer complete your forms or you are completing tax forms yourself, we recommend that you review the checklist and make sure you are prepared before April 18th.

You need a tax preparation checklist if you:

  • Struggle to find what materials you need for your tax preparation meeting
  • Don’t know where to start with your taxes
  • Have a meeting scheduled with a tax preparer
  • Using software or an online program to file your taxes

Print out our checklist out and use it as you get ready for April 18th!

1) Personal information

File your tax return with your personal information:

__ Your name

__ Your date of birth

__ Your Social Security number

__ Your bank account information (if you’re signing up for direct deposit)

2) Income history

It’s now time to report the income you received in the 2016 tax year. This is not just your salary. Income includes interest payments, dividend payments, freelance compensation, Social Security checks, retirement plan benefits, and any other earnings you collected. Some common forms and documents you’ll need handy:

__ Your W-2

__ Your 1099 forms; keep in mind that there are different types of 1099s, so if you receive multiple forms, don’t assume that they’re duplicates

__ Your alimony payment summary, if applicable

__ Your business profit and loss statement, if you own a business

__ Your rental property profit and loss statement, if you own a rental property

 

3) Adjustments to your income

Adjustments to income can help you reduce your total income and lower your tax burden. Have the following information handy to ensure you’re getting your maximum tax benefit:

__ Form 1098-E, if you have student loan interest

__ Records of educator expenses (teachers can deduct up to $250 per year for out-of-pocket school supplies)

__ Records of retirement plan contributions

__ Records of health savings account (HSA) contributions

__ Records of health insurance premium payments, if you’re self-employed

__ Records of moving expenses

__ Records of alimony paid

 

4) Tax deduction and credit information

The IRS offers many valuable tax credits and deductions that can lower your tax bill. You’ll need the following information available:

__ Form 1098, which is your mortgage interest summary (this will also include PMI premiums and mortgage points, if applicable)

__ Records of medical expenses

__ Records of child care costs, including the name and address of your provider

__ Form 1098-T, which lists your tuition expenses for the year

__ Records of charitable contributions, including cash and non-cash donations

__ Records of unreimbursed work expenses (such as uniforms, continuing education, and travel)

__ Records of home expenses (such as heat, water, and electricity) if you’re taking a home office deduction

 

5) Tax payment records

The taxes you pay throughout the year can impact the amount you owe (or are owed). You’ll need:

__ A record of the property taxes you paid

__ A record of the estimated tax payments you made during the year (if you’re self-employed)

__ A record of the taxes you had withheld from your retirement plan distributions, which can be found on Form 1099-R

 

Checklist Credit: IRS and Fool

 

 

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