What you need to file your taxes varies depending on your situation. For example, a tax prep checklist for a self-employed college student may include a 1099 and 1098-T. However, if you weren’t in college and only received a W-2, you could skip those items on your tax documents checklist.

Whether you see a tax professional or prepare your taxes on your own, we’re here to help you determine what forms and information you need to file your taxes.

Use the tax checklist below to find the documents and forms you'll need to get started.

Personal Information

Tax Identification Numbers are mandatory items on your tax prep checklist. All taxpayers will need the following information.

 Your social security number or tax ID number
 Your spouse's full name and social security number or tax ID number

Dependent(s) Information

Parents and caregivers should gather this information as they review what they need to file their taxes.

 Dates of birth and social security numbers or tax ID numbers
 Childcare records (including the provider's tax ID number) if applicable
 Income of other adults in your home
 Form 8332 showing that the child’s custodial parent is releasing their right to claim a child to you, the noncustodial parent (if applicable)

Sources of Income

Many of these forms won't apply every year. For example, you will only receive the investment forms you may need to file your taxes if you had distributions or other activity.

Employed

 Forms W-2

Unemployed

 Unemployment, state tax refund (1099-G)

Self-Employed

 Forms 1099, Schedules K-1, income records to verify amounts not reported on 1099s
 Records of all expenses — check registers or credit card statements, and receipts
 Business-use asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation
 Office in home information, if applicable
 Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040–ES)

Rental Income

 Records of income and expenses
 Rental asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation
 Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040–ES)

Retirement Income

 Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)
 Traditional IRA basis (i.e., amounts you contributed to the IRA that were already taxed)
 Social security/RRB income (1099-SSA, RRB-1099)

Savings & Investments or Dividends

 Interest, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV)

 Income from sales of stock or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)
 Dates of acquisition and records of your cost or other basis in property you sold (if basis is not reported on 1099-B)
 Health Savings Account and long-term care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)
 Expenses related to your investments
 Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040–ES)
 Transactions involving cryptocurrency (Virtual currency)

Other Income & Losses

 Gambling income (W-2G or records showing income, as well as expense records)
 Jury duty records
 Hobby income and expenses
 Prizes and awards
 Trusts
 Royalty Income 1099–Misc.
 Any other 1099s received
 Record of alimony paid/received with ex-spouse’s name and SSN

Types of Deductions

The types of deductions you can take depend a lot on your life situation. It’s likely you won’t need all of the records listed below for your tax documents checklist.

Home Ownership

 Forms 1098 or other mortgage interest statements
 Real estate and personal property tax records
 Receipts for energy-saving home improvements (e.g., solar panels, solar water heater)
 All other 1098 series forms

Charitable Donations

 Cash amounts donated to houses of worship, schools, other charitable organizations
 Records of non-cash charitable donations
 Amounts of miles driven for charitable or medical purposes

Medical Expenses

 Amounts paid for healthcare insurance and to doctors, dentists, hospitals

Health Insurance


 Form 1095-A if you enrolled in an insurance plan through the Marketplace (Exchange)

Childcare Expenses

 Fees paid to a licensed day care center or family day care for care of an infant or preschooler
 Wages paid to a baby-sitter
Don't include expenses paid through a flexible spending account at work

Educational Expenses

 Forms 1098-T from educational institutions
 Receipts that itemize qualified educational expenses
 Records of any scholarships or fellowships you received
 Form 1098-E if you paid student loan interest

K-12 Educator Expenses

 Receipts for classroom expenses (for educators in grades K-12)

State & Local Taxes

 Amount of state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding), or amount of state and local sales tax paid
 Invoice showing amount of vehicle sales tax paid

Retirement & Other Savings

 Form 5498-SA showing HSA contributions
 Form 5498 showing IRA contributions
 All other 5498 series forms (5498-QA, 5498-ESA)


mep tax prep checklist: what do i need to file my taxes?