Tax Preparation Checklist

by Kenneth Hrica, CPA Jun 02, 2020 | Share


As you start to think about your 2020 taxes, take a minute to bookmark this page.  I’m going to give you a list of everything you need to gather to be ready to file your return.  Not every category will apply to you, so just pick those that do, and make sure you have that information available.

General Information

  1. What is your current address? Did this change from last year?
  2. Did your marital status change before the end of the year? If so, what is your spouse’s full name, social security number, and birthdate?
  3. Were there changes in dependents? Did you have a child born in 2019?  If so, provide their full name, date of birth, and social security number. Do you have a college graduate who is no longer a dependent?
  4. Did you incur childcare costs? You need the provider’s name, address, tax id, and amount paid.
  5. Did you incur Adoption costs? Provide the SSN of child, legal, medical, and transportation
  6. Did you buy or sell stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or other investment properties?
  7. Did you donate money, clothes, cars, or stock?
  8. Did you incur any tuition or continuing education expenses? Provide 1098-T
  9. Did you receive a distribution from or make a contribution to a retirement plan (401(k), IRA, etc.)?
  10. Did you and your dependents have health care coverage for the full year? Did you receive any of the following IRS documents? Form 1095-A, 1095-B, or Form 1095-C? If so, please send.
  11. Do you have a Health Savings Account? Provide Form 5498-SA showing contributions.
  12. Do you have taxable alimony paid or received(Applicable to divorces finalized before January 1, 2019)? Provide ex-spouses name and SSN.
  13. If you use your home for business—home size, office size, home expenses, office expenses.
  14. For direct deposit, please provide your bank name, routing number, and account number.
  15. Make a list of any questions or other concerns you might have.

Tax Documents to Gather Related to Your Income

  1. W2 from your employers(s)
  2. 1099-INT from your bank(s)
  3. 1099-DIV from your financial institution(s)
  4. 1099-COMP from your financial institution(s)
  5. W-2G from your gambling winnings
  6. 1099-R from your Pension or Retirement provider
  7. RRB-1099 from Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
  8. SSA-1099 from Social Security Administration
  9. 1099-Misc from Other Income sources
  10. 1099-Q from Qualified Education Programs
  11. 1099-B from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions
  12. K-1 from your Partnerships
  13. K-1 from your S-Corporation
  14. K-1 from your Trusts or Estates
  15. 1098 Home Mortgage from your bank or lender
  16. 1099-G Unemployment Compensation from the government
  17. If Self-Employed provide records of all income and expenses.
  18. Rental property income/expense—profit/Loss statement, rental property suspended loss information
  19. Income from sales of property—original cost and cost of improvements, escrow closing statement, cancelled debt information (form 1099-C)
  20. Prior year installment sale information—forms 6252, principal and Interest collected during the year, SSN and address of payer
  21. Other miscellaneous income—jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account (MSA), scholarships, etc.

Taxes You’ve Paid

  1. State and local income taxes paid
  2. Real estate taxes paid
  3. Personal property taxes—vehicle license fee based on value
  4. Estimated tax payment made during the year, prior year refund applied to current year, and any amount paid with an extension to file.

About the Author

Kenneth Hrica, CPA

Ken Hrica joined Century Accounting & Financial Services full time in 1991, after working for several years in public accounting with Ernst & Young and acquiring his CPA license.. With almost 35 years at Century, Ken has recently taken over the firm and its management. The value he brings to his clients lies in his vast experience, working with hundreds of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. Ken’s hands on approach includes getting new clients’ records up to date, helping new clients properly set up their books, assisting in making decisions on business structures, and payroll advice, such as should you issue a 1099 vs. a W-2. He advises all clients, new and long term, in many other financial areas of their business including tax planning and tax preparation. He also helps clients deal with the IRS, from back taxes to installment agreements.

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