Most Common Tax Filing Documents: How to Be Prepared
Tax Filing Documents
Knowing the most common tax filing documents can help you prepare for the tax season easily. You may not need all of these tax forms every year.
Let us walk you through the process and list the most common and useful tax filing documents that most taxpayers need every year.
What Documents Do You Need for Tax Filing?
Whether you file your taxes online or take help from a tax preparer, your essential tax documents should be ready and consistent.
The list of documents can be exhausting and get longer depending on your tax filing requirements. Therefore, leaving it till the last moment can be risky.
Here are the major categories of tax filing documents that most taxpayers would need.
Personal Information Documents
The foremost and important documents are for your personal and tax identification.
These documents are mandatory for all taxpayers.
- Tax identification number or social security number
- Identification Protection Pin (if issued by the IRS)
- Your spouse details including the full name, social security number, and tax identification number
- Form 8332 (If applicable for non-custodial child’s tax credit claims)
Additionally, you’ll need dependent information including:
- Social security numbers or tax identification numbers
- Dates of birth
- Income sources of your dependents and adults
- Childcare records
Income Evidence Documents
There are several types of income supporting documents. For individuals and business owners, various income forms are used for different purposes.
From commonly used W2s to 1099 and the estimated tax information forms like 1040-ES, there are a few income forms that you should know about.
All of these forms wouldn’t be used at the same time. Also, you wouldn’t use all of these forms every year. However, it is important to know which types of income forms are used for the right purpose.
Common Income Forms:
- Form W-2 (multiple forms if you have more than one employer)
- Form 1099-G if you are unemployed
- 1099 and 1099-MISC if you are self-employed
Other Income Forms:
- Form 1099-R when you receive retirement distribution, IRS, pension plan, or insurance plan.
- Forms 1099-INT, 1099-DIV for interest and dividend income respectively.
- Income from sales of stock or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)
- Health Savings Account and long-term care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)
- 1099-C for cancellation of debt
- 1099-K for business or rental income processed by third-party networks
- 1099-PATR for patronage dividends
- 1099-Q for payments from qualified education programs
- 1099-QA for distributions from an ABLE account
Then, there are other income forms:
- Form W-2G for gambling income
- Hobby, prizes, and awards income
- Royalty income 1099-misc
- Trust income and state tax refund
Documents Supporting Tax Deductions
Tax deductions reduce your taxable income and your tax liability towards the IRS. It’s important to know which types of deductions you can take and also to know the supporting documents for each type of deduction.
- 1040-ES for estimated taxes paid by businesses and self-employed individuals
- 1098-E for interest paid on a student loan
- 1098-T, for your tuition for post-secondary education
- K-12 for educators’ expenses in the classrooms
- 5498 for IRA contributions
- Form 5498-A for HSA contributions
Some important supporting documents for your tax deductions include:
- Cash donations for charitable organizations
- Non-cash donations and charities
- Amount paid for medical expenses like healthcare, doctors, and hospitals
- Childcare expenses paid to licensed clinics, doctors, and hospitals
- Records of scholarships received
- Real estate and property tax record
- State and local taxes paid
- Records supporting house repairs and damages
- Records of property losses in federally declared disaster areas
What Documents to Present Before your Tax Preparer?
Businesses and individuals should always back their expense claims with evidence and recorded logs. Similarly, you should include all income resources including part-time jobs, awards, gambling, and other income streams.
If you are filing for joint-tax returns, you’ll also need information about your spouse. Your income and expense records for your dependents are also important.
If you bring your previous tax filing records, it can ease the job for you and your tax preparer. If you have been using the same tax preparer, you wouldn’t need many identification forms unless you had a change of information.