If you are eager to file your taxes, either because you’re due a tax refund or you just want to get it out of the way, the IRS has announced they will be accepting paper and electronic returns starting Monday, January 29th, 2018. However, you can get started now and be first in line for your tax refund: TurboTax is accepting tax returns today and will securely hold them until the IRS opens, so you can be one of the first in line for your maximum tax refund. The average tax refund last year was close to $3,052, so there is no reason to wait!
TurboTax makes tax preparation incredibly easy. All you need to do answer a few simple questions and TurboTax will give you the deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers, but you should make sure you have all of you’re documents in one place before you sit down to file so you don’t forget anything.
To help you gather the needed documentation, we’ve prepared a personal tax prep checklist to help you get ready. Not all the items on this checklist will apply to every taxpayer, but use it as a guide to begin collecting information that’s relevant to your situation.
W-2’s are the obvious starting point, but there’s usually more paperwork necessary depending on your income situation. Other income documents you may need include:
Gathering expense documentation usually comes from a variety of different sources. Third-party documentation includes:
In many cases, third-party documentation of other tax-deductible expenses won’t be coming from a third party. If not, you may need to gather the additional paperwork. These can include the following:
There is certain non-financial information that’s necessary to prepare your income tax returns. Those documents can include:
Not every item in each list will apply to you. You can review last year’s return as a starting point, then modify the list as you remember tax-related events last year.
To help, highlight the ones that apply to you and begin collecting the needed documentation in a safe place. I prefer to put them in a folder, physically for mailed forms and electronically for digital forms. When it comes time to sit down and do your taxes, don’t worry if you don’t have all of your documents in front of you. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and remind you of the information you need.
If you have tax questions while you are doing your taxes, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent and get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live tax experts can even review, sign, and e-file your return for you.