It is helpful to get organized before you start preparing your tax return. Let’s review some of the information that you can gather now to save time when working on your taxes.
First, make sure that you have the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, and your dependents.
Next, gather all documents related to your income from wages, investments, state and local tax refunds, unemployment, alimony (if the divorce was finalized prior to January 1, 2019), business or farming, retirement distributions, rental properties, Social Security benefits, the sale of property, and any other miscellaneous sources.
It is also important to gather information regarding adjustments to your income such as contributions to retirement and pension plans, student loan interest payments, contributions to Medical Savings Accounts (MSA), moving expenses, self-employed health insurance premium payments, alimony payments (if the divorce was finalized prior to January 1, 2019), and educator expenses.
Then you’ll want to collect your information for itemized deductions and credits. This includes child care costs, education costs, adoption costs, energy-efficient home improvement costs, home mortgage interest payments, investment interest expenses, charitable donations, casualty and theft losses, medical and dental expenses, and other miscellaneous tax deductions.
You should also get together any information about the taxes that you’ve already paid. This includes state and local income taxes, real estate taxes, estimated taxes, and personal property taxes.
Lastly, you will need your direct deposit information and any foreign bank account information.
For more details on everything that you will need to quickly and accurately prepare your tax return this year please check out our article, Tax Preparation Checklist.
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