What documents should I bring to my upcoming tax appointment? Any and every document that you have received stating that it is an important tax document.
Filing your personal taxes may seem overwhelming and stressful, especially if this is the first tax season where you have had to file. There are many options now available to you to help you prepare your taxes, whether you’re comfortable preparing them completely by yourself, using tax filing software, or using the help of one of the many tax preparers available. No matter the route you take, you will need to gather all of your tax documents in order to ensure that your taxes are filled out completely and accurately. This article will be a great resource for you as you are gathering the right documents that you need. It is a good idea to use this long list as a checklist of all of the material that you should bring with you to prepare your taxes.
If you are seeking help from a tax preparer (especially if this is your first time with this particular tax preparer) I recommend reaching out to them before your appointment as they may have additional information they need from you.
These documents are ones that you’ve either always had on hand, or they have been sent to you recently through mail or email. They should be labeled as tax documents and be safely gathered for your tax preparation appointment. Double-check that each document is for the correct tax year and that the personal information listed is correct (name, address, etc.).
The IRS needs your personal information to confirm that it is you that is filing your taxes, not someone else. This is a way that they avoid fraud. This information is required from every taxpayer, regardless of their filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child)
If you will have any dependents on your tax return, you need to gather their information as well to file your taxes. These documents are needed for all dependents.
The tax forms involving taxable income that are needed vary depending on the taxpayer’s situation. All sources of income need to be reported. Bring all the important tax documents that apply.
The following items involving expenses that are needed on your tax return vary depending on the taxpayer's situation. These expenses, if greater than the standard deduction, allowing you to itemize your tax return and further lower your taxes owed. Bring all the documents that apply.
If you’ve received any documents from the IRS that are not included on this list but state “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT” please bring them as well.
There are a variety of free ways available to you to file your taxes. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has a Free File program that allows you to file electronically for free on IRS.gov and on your mobile device using the IRS2GO app. The IRS has also provided free tax preparation software for most taxpayers. This software does the work for you by finding all deductions, credits, and exemptions for you.
Service members and qualifying veterans can use MilTax for filing their taxes.
You can also prepare your taxes for free online at GetYourRefund and MyFreeTaxes.
The IRS also has a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that offers free tax preparation on simple returns for qualifying taxpayers. Find a VITA site near you.
If you are comfortable, you can also file your taxes yourself by using the IRS Free File Fillable Forms.
Lastly, you can pay a tax professional to prepare your taxes for you. A public accountant will be up to date on all tax laws and be able to ensure that all relevant information is included in your tax return and that you meet the filing deadline. The IRS website has also provided a resource for you to find the right ta professional that you need. You can find that here.
This article is intended to ease any and all stress that is involved in preparing and filing your taxes. As the taxpayer, you want to include everything that you need in your taxes while also getting the maximum return. Not including some of these important documents can seriously affect your taxes and may lead to a tax audit or rejection. Make sure to gather all of the tax documents that you have received over the past couple of months and follow this checklist to mark that you have what you need. If you have any questions about your taxes I strongly recommend reaching out to a tax professional for help. They will be able to assess your situation and give you the information that you need for your unique tax situation.