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Documents You Need to File Taxes

Use our tax document checklist

It’s that time of year again. Tax documents will start rolling in any day now. Use the list below to check off records and documents as you gather them. It’ll ensure a smooth tax filing experience and avoid delays caused by chasing copies of missing documents.

Wage and Earnings Records

  • Form W-2 from your employer
  • Form 1099-NEC (Non-Employee Compensation) for income earned as a contractor from sources whom you have received payment of $600 or more
  • Form 1099-MISC for miscellaneous income sources whom you have received payment of $600 or more
  • Form 1099-R for distributions greater than $10 from pensions, annuities, retirement or profit-sharing plans, IRAs, insurance contracts
  • Form 1099-K for at least 200 transaction payments collected via credit or debit cards that equal $20,000 or more
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Jury duty payment
  • Voting poll compensation
  • Social Security statement
  • Pension payments received
  • Record of IRA contributions or other activities. These are reported to the IRS on a Form 5498, but the form is not needed to file your taxes.
  • Economic Impact Payment (EIP) (stimulus check)
  • Capital gains from sales of stock or real estate
  • Interest earned
  • Prize, award, or scholarship money received
  • Income from hobbies
  • Income from sales of clothing and shoes, household goods, furniture, books, etc.
  • Form W-2 G — winnings from gambling

Tax Records

  • County, city, and school/real estate taxes paid
  • Quarterly taxes paid throughout the year
  • Last year's tax return and the professional tax preparer's fees
  • Any state tax refunds received

Self-Employment Expense Records

  • Equipment and supply receipts: equipment and consumables (raw materials, postage, toner, paper, etc.)
  • Vehicle expenses or a business-dedicated portion of them: insurance, inspections, registration, repairs, gas mileage
  • Travel receipts: mileage, plane fare, lodging, and meals while traveling for business
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business, if your business requires one
  • Office expense receipts: mortgage or rent, hired professional fees: painting, carpet cleaning, construction/repair, remodeling costs, appliance replacement or repair, and utility/sewage/refuse costs
  • Home office expense receipts. If you work from home and a portion of your home is dedicated exclusively to your work, you may be able to deduct a portion of your mortgage payments, utility/sewage/refuse costs, and homeowner association fees.

Miscellaneous Expense Records

  • Professional association fees or union dues
  • Job hunting expenses, if you're unemployed
  • Unreimbursed moving expenses, if moving for work

Healthcare Documents

  • HSA or FSA contribution amounts and reimbursed claims amounts. If you're enrolled in an HSA or FSA program, you'll need receipts from prescriptions, doctors, hospitals, dentists, optometrists.
  • Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace® Statement) If you have coverage through the Marketplace (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare), you'll receive this form. It lists your payments and your Premium Tax Credit if you received one when you purchased your coverage.

Charitable Donation Receipts

  • Monetary donations
  • Fair market value of donated clothing and shoes, household goods, furniture, books, etc.

Home Energy Documents

Receipts from energy efficiency home improvements, including exterior doors/windows, insulation, certain roofs, high-efficiency heating/ac/water heaters, biomass fuel burning stoves, solar water heaters, solar electric equipment, wind turbines, and fuel cell property. These improvements can earn you tax credits through either the Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credit or the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit.

Higher Educational Documents

  • Form 1098-T from your school. This lists qualifying expenses (tuition, grants or scholarships received, enrollment fees, or expenses for required enrollment materials).
  • Student loan interest paid. You'll receive Form 1098-E if you paid $600 or more in student loan interest
  • Tuition savings plans (529 plans or Coverdell Savings Accounts)

Federally Designated Disaster Situations Documents

  • FEMA assistance received
  • Fair market value of lost real and personal property

Personal and Family Documents

  • Your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN). If relevant, you’ll need this information for your spouse and/or ex-spouse, as well.
  • Your birthdate, plus the full names and birthdates of your spouse, ex-spouse, and your dependents, if applicable
  • Childcare expenses and the provider's tax ID number
  • Alimony and/or child support paid or received
  • Qualified adoption expenses
  • Form 8332. If you don't have custody of your child/children, the other parent can enable you to claim the child/children as dependents and surrender their right to do so.
  • A check for direct deposit routing and account information and/or to pay your tax preparer
  • A photo ID
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