Tax Season Checklist

It’s that time of year when we need to prepare our taxes. Don’t wait until the last minute. Even the IRS admits it takes the average taxpayer 18 hours to prepare their taxes. Use this handy checklist to make sure you have everything you need whether you are preparing your taxes yourself with a software program such as TurboTax or dropping everything off for your CPA to handle the filing.

Personal Information

  • Bank account and routing information (for e-file and direct deposit)
  • Estimated taxes paid last year (if you paid quarterly estimates)
  • Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and any dependents
  • Tax return from the prior year


  • Alimony received
  • Forms 1099
    • 1099-B Proceeds from broker or barter exchange
    • 1099-C Cancellation of Debt
    • 1099-DIV Dividend income
    • 1099-G unemployment income, state taxes, local taxes
    • 1099-INT Interest income
    • 1099-MISC (contractor work)
    • 1099-R Distribution from IRAs or retirement plans
    • 1099-S income from or sale of property
  • Miscellaneous income: scholarships, gambling, jury duty, etc.
  • Rental property income
  • Schedule K-1 Partner’s share of income, etc.
  • SSA-1099/1042S Social Security Benefits
  • Unemployment compensation
  • W-2 forms for self and spouse


  • Fees for vehicles
  • Form 1095-A Health insurance marketplace statement (If purchased health insurance from exchange)
  • Form 1098 Mortgage interest
  • Form 1098-E Student loan interest
  • Form 1098-T (or receipts) Tuition statement
  • Adoption expenses
  • Alimony paid
  • Childcare costs
  • Home office expenses
  • Investment interest expenses
  • IRA contributions
  • Job hunting expenses
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Miscellaneous items: continuing education, union dues, unreimbursed employee expenses, etc.
  • Moving expenses
  • Personal property taxes
  • Receipts for classroom supplies (teachers only)
  • Real estate taxes
  • Rental property losses
  • Self-employed pension plan contributions
  • State and local income taxes paid


  • Cash donated
    • colleges
    • Paycheck contributions to charity
    • Places of worship
    • Other cash donations to charities
  • Non-cash charitable donations
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The three authors, Bill Pratt, Mark C. Weitzel, and Len Rhodes, are industry leaders in personal financial education. Together, they have a combined 75 years of experience in banking, economics, and entrepreneurship. Now, they teach thousands of students personal finance concepts and decision making skills, author textbooks and public press books on personal finance, and help schools develop innovative personal finance literacy programs. Recently, they were instrumental in developing a personal financial management certification program for leaders in higher education. The other books in The Money Professor series include The Graduate’s Guide to Life and Money and Extra Credit: The 7 Things Every College Student Needs to Know about Credit, Debt & Ca$h. Their books, lectures, and programs give students, parents, and educators the tools and knowledge to make good financial decisions all their lives.