Social Security number for everyone listed on your tax return
W-2 forms from employers
1099 forms for contract work completed
Income from investments (i.e., from interest, dividends, stocks/bonds, and foreign investments)
Prior year income from local/state tax refunds
Business income records, if you own a business
Income from unemployment
Income from rental properties
Social Security benefits
Other income (e.g., gambling, award money from the lottery, jury duty, medical savings account income)
Brokerage account statements
Health insurance coverage documents
Receipts (from charity, medical expenses, and any unreimbursed business expenses)
Know ahead of time—and then claim—the credits for which you are eligible. Each credit has its own eligibility requirements. The IRS website lists the most current eligibility requirements for each credit. Here are some of the most common credits that can reduce the amount you owe to the IRS.
Earned income credit
Child and dependent care credit
Credit for the elderly/disabled
American opportunity credit
Lifetime learning credit
Report your expenses. If you’ve kept your records and receipts organized, this part of your tax return will be a breeze.Knowing how much money you’ve paid out during the year is important because this, too, can reduce the amount you owe the IRS.
Student loan interest
Medical savings account (MSA) contributions
Self-employed health insurance
Qualified business expenses
Grab those documents, and then do some research. Good planning goes a long way in a seamless online filing experience.
Now go #slayit
This article is up to date and accounts for tax law changes for tax year 2018 (tax returns filed in 2019). Learn more about tax reform enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act here.