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Tax Prep Checklist


Getting Started


What you need to file your taxes varies depending on your situation. For example, a tax prep checklist for a self-employed college student may include a 1099 and 1098-T. However, if you weren’t in college and only received a W-2, you could skip those items on your tax documents checklist.

Use the tax checklist below to find the documents and forms you'll need to get started.

Personal Information

  •  Your social security number or tax ID number
  • Your spouse's full name and social security number or tax ID number

Dependent(s) Information

  • Dates of birth and social security numbers or tax ID numbers
  • Childcare records (including the provider's tax ID number) if applicable
  • Income of other adults in your home
  • Form 8332 showing that the child’s custodial parent is releasing their right to claim a child to you, the noncustodial parent (if applicable)

Sources of Income

  • Employed
    • Forms W-2
  • Unemployed
    • Unemployment, state tax refund (1099-G)
  • Self-Employed
    • Forms 1099, Schedules K-1, income records to verify amounts not reported on 1099s
    • Records of all expenses — check registers or credit card statements, and receipts
    • Business-use asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation
    • Office in home information, if applicable
    • Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040–ES)
  • Rental Income
    • Records of income and expenses
    • Rental asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation
    • Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040–ES)
  • Retirement Income
    • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)
    • Traditional IRA basis (i.e., amounts you contributed to the IRA that were already taxed)
    • Social security/RRB income (1099-SSA, RRB-1099)
  • Savings & Investments or Dividends
    • Interest, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV)
    • Income from sales of stock or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)
    • Dates of acquisition and records of your cost or other basis in property you sold (if basis is not reported on 1099-B)
    • Health Savings Account and long-term care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)
    • Expenses related to your investments
    • Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040–ES)
    • Transactions involving cryptocurrency (Virtual currency)
  • Other Income & Losses
    • Gambling income (W-2G or records showing income, as well as expense records)
    • Jury duty records
    • Hobby income and expenses
    • Prizes and awards
    • Trusts
    • Royalty Income 1099–Misc.
    • Any other 1099s received
    • Record of alimony paid/received with ex-spouse’s name and SSN

Types of Deductions

  •  Home Ownership
    • Forms 1098 or other mortgage interest statements
    • Real estate and personal property tax records
    • Receipts for energy-saving home improvements (e.g., solar panels, solar water heater)
    • All other 1098 series forms
  • Charitable Donations
    • Cash amounts donated to houses of worship, schools, other charitable organizations
    • Records of non-cash charitable donations
    • Amounts of miles driven for charitable or medical purposes
  • Medical Expenses
    • Amounts paid for healthcare insurance and to doctors, dentists, hospitals
  • Health Insurance
    • Form 1095-A if you enrolled in an insurance plan through the Marketplace (Exchange)
  • Childcare Expenses
    • Fees paid to a licensed day care center or family day care for care of an infant or preschooler
    • Wages paid to a baby-sitter
      Don't include expenses paid through a flexible spending account at work
  • Educational Expenses
    • Forms 1098-T from educational institutions
    • Receipts that itemize qualified educational expenses
    • Records of any scholarships or fellowships you received
    • Form 1098-E if you paid student loan interest
  • K-12 Educator Expenses
    • Receipts for classroom expenses (for educators in grades K-12)
  • State & Local Taxes
    • Amount of state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding), or amount of state and local sales tax paid
    • Invoice showing amount of vehicle sales tax paid
  • Retirement & Other Savings
    • Form 5498-SA showing HSA contributions
    • Form 5498 showing IRA contributions
    • All other 5498 series forms (5498-QA, 5498-ESA)
  • Federally Declared Disaster
    • City/county you lived/worked/had property in
    • Records to support property losses (appraisal, clean up costs, etc.)
    • Records of rebuilding/repair costs
    • Insurance reimbursements/claims to be paid
    • FEMA assistance information
    • Check FEMA site to see if my county has been declared a federal disaster area