The Documents You Need to Do Your Taxes

by Dana Martell

In preparation for your meeting with your tax account, there are specific documents required. Basically, you need identification; income tax forms, which are W-2s and 1099s; and expense documentation. You will need all of these documents in order to complete a tax return properly. Tax preparers will ask for social security numbers for you and your dependents, so have those available as well.

Receive Proper Tax Forms From Your Employer

W-2s are the most essential documentation necessary for tax purposes. You will need to report all wages earned from your employment during the tax year. Your employer must provide you with a W-2 Wage and Tax statement as well as send the information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Your W-2 must be sent to you no later than January 31. W-2s report an employee's annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from her paychecks for a given year. You should ask your employer to correct any wrong information on your W-2, such as incorrect an social security number or inaccurate wages.

Other Necessary Tax Information

The IRS requires that all income be reported by individuals and businesses, otherwise you could be subject to penalties. There are various types of 1099 forms. There is 1099-DIV, which is used to report distributions such as dividends and capital gains that were paid on stock and liquid distributions. Form 1099-INT is used to report interest income paid to individuals. Form 1099-S is used to report the gross proceeds from a sale or exchange of a real estate property and certain royalty statements. To report distributions from pensions, retirements, profit-sharing plans, any IRAs, annuities or an insurance contract, a 1099-R is required. All 1099 forms must be provided to the recipient and a copy sent to the IRS.

Provide Additional Income and Expense Information

You must be sure to bring written documentation of additional income that is not reported on your W-2 or 1099s. Self-employment income, rental property income and alimony are sources of income that can be provided through bank statements, spreadsheets or through other written evidence. For self-employment, you may require a 1099-MISC form. This is the self-employed version of a W-2. Bring along with you cancelled checks, receipts and spreadsheets of any tax-related expenses.You can also provide written documentation of medical and dental expenses, moving expenses and educational expenses. Certain expenses are reported to you like mortgage interest, which is provided on a 1098 form, and student loan interest, which is reported to you on a 1098-E.

About the Author

Dana Martell started writing professionally in 1998. She lives in northern California where she focuses on freelance writing for various publications such as the "Record Searchlight." She is a co-owner of a writing business, and her work offers her the chance to focus on copy writing, social media, business and entertainment. Martell attended the University of Phoenix in Redding.

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