Tax Prep Checklist: Collect These Forms Before Filing Your Taxes

It’s best to get organized and gather your tax documents early this year, both because you’ll likely receive your refund sooner and you’ll avoid the stress of scrambling at the last minute. Whether you’re looking for a tax professional or doing it yourself, this is the information and documents you’ll need to gather. W-2s are issued by employers by Jan. 31. If you are self-employed, that deadline also applies to 1099 forms. Here are more details on some of the most common tax forms you may need to gather.

• W-2: If you work for an employer, you can expect to receive a W-2, which shows how much you earned last year and how much was deducted for taxes and any other withholding.

• 1099-NEC: You can expect to receive this 1099 form if you work as a freelancer or if you did contract work in 2021.

• 1099-K: Some freelancers and gig workers for companies like Uber, Lyft or Airbnb should look out for this form. 1099-Ks report income that passes through third-party networks, such as PayPal or debit cards or credit card processors. • Other 1099 forms: If you earned interest from savings or investments, you may receive a 1099-INT form. You could also receive a 1099-DIV, which reports dividends and distributions from investments.

• 1098: Those who own a home and pay mortgage interest will receive Form 1098 from their mortgage lender. It will show the amount of mortgage interest a homeowner paid and can deduct. It may also show the property taxes paid over the year as well any points paid, both of which are tax-deductible.

• 1098-E: This is a form that records tax-deductible student loan interest payments over $600. If you paid less than $600, you may not receive a 1098-E, but if you find out what amount of interest you paid, you can deduct it.

• 1098-T: The 1098-T can be used to help you calculate and claim educational tax credits and deductions. It reports tuition costs and related education expenses that you may have paid last year.

Of course, the federal government and your employer won’t send you all your tax paperwork. Make note of these other documents you’ll need as you start preparing your taxes.

• Supporting information for tax deductions and credits: If you plan to take advantage of tax deductions and tax credits, you’ll want to have the documents that ensure you qualify. This could include documentation or receipts related to childcare, medical expenses and job search costs, depending on the credit or deduction you’re claiming. If you’re claiming a mileage tax deduction, for example, you’ll want to have a log including dates, destinations and reasons for travel.

• Social Security numbers for family members: Make sure you have your accurate Social Security number as well as that of your spouse and dependents. If you had a baby in 2021, make sure you have a Social Security number to claim child tax credits.

• Contribution information: Remember to collect documentation on retirement plan contributions that are tax-deductible. If you contributed to a 529 plan in 2021 and your state offers a tax benefit, you’ll want to keep that information on hand for your state, but not federal, taxes.

• Charitable donations: Gather any receipts for charitable contributions you made during the year. You don’t need to send these to the IRS, but in case of an audit, you’ll want to prove that you contributed what you claimed.

Correspondence From the IRS Taxpayers should have on hand two letters from the IRS. One was sent fairly recently, the other possibly a while ago. Look out for Letter 6419 and Letter 6475. The first letter, Letter 6419 was mailed by the IRS in late December and early January to taxpayers who received the advance child tax credits. This form will be important for both reconciling and receiving all eligible 2021 child tax credits. Using the information in this letter should help reduce tax-preparation errors and processing delays. The second letter from the IRS is Letter 6475. This letter lists the amount of the third economic impact payment, which was sent to recipients between March and December of 2021. This letter will start arriving in mailboxes in late January. While most eligible households have already received these payments, this letter will include important information that should help taxpayers accurately file their tax returns in a timely fashion. ​

We hope these tips have been helpful! If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know by emailing us at or calling/texting us at +1 866-824-1440. The IRS has a lot of information available to help you with your personal tax filing, but it takes some time to understand the process. If you are looking for assistance to file your taxes and make sure that you get all the deductions that you deserve, contact us today at

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