Tax filing can be a simple or time-consuming task depending on various factors ranging from the financial situation of a filer to the number of jobs, especially if you have multiple income sources that are not automatically taxed. We breakdown for you the foms needed for each category of the tax filing process.

Go through the following checklist before you begin preparing your income tax return. Identify the areas that apply to you, and make sure you have that information on hand. Add your tax documents to a folder, and check things off as you add them. This will ultimately help you not make any mistakes when it comes time to file your taxes.

Get the tax preparation checklist

Documents Needed To File Income Taxes

Employed, self-employed or unemployed, you may need to file taxes. While the filing of taxes is mandatory for employed and self-employed persons, access to certain income opportunities may make it necessary for an unemployed individual to file taxes.

Each of the categories of taxpayers mentioned, together with students with income or individuals with retirement contribution plans are required to file taxes with different documents.

Important documents to file taxes as your income type dictates include the following:

Personal Documents

Information required in many of the steps of the tax filing process will need you to enter personal information. It will be important to keep the following documents/information easily at hand.

  • Social security card / tax ID card of you and your spouse
  • Date of birth / Birth Certificate of you and your spouse
  • Identity Protection PIN
  • Routing and account numbers for tax refunds

Form W-2

The IRS might receive your income directly from your employer, but your tax preparer will need the information on the W-2 form(s) to prepare your tax return.

Forms W-2 for an employed individual is a document received from the employer that contains the details of the amount withheld as a tax on behalf of the employed.

Form W-2G

Income from gambling winnings will be reported to you on Form W2-G.

Form 1099-NEC

Income earned as self-employed

Forms 1099s

Your tax return will need to include information on income from other sources if you're self-employed. Please share any of the following IRS forms with your tax preparer if you have received them.

1099-MISC For income earned through sources such as royalties, rents, and broker payments to mention a few
1099-C Functions for canceled debts
1099-DIV This form is used for dividend income
1099-NEC Income earned as self-employed
1099-INT This form is designed for interest income
1099-G For income received as unemployment compensation from the government
1099-R This functions for withdrawals above $10 from an employer-sponsored retirement plan

info icon Helpful Resource: What Is IRS Tax Form 1099?: How It Works and Who Gets One

Documents Needed for Tax Deductions

To get deduction benefits, there are certain documents you need to have to claim. Although the process can be tedious, the benefit of reducing the amount you'll pay makes it worthwhile. Here are some common documents and their applicability.

Education Deductions

Form 1098-T: Form 1098-T will contain education transactions.

Form 1098-E: It carries the details on your student loan.

1098-T: It's a form for educational purposes. It may contain receipts of qualified educational expenses and scholarships received.

Medical Deductions

 If medical cost accounts for more than 7.5% of adjusted gross income, a taxpayer can take advantage of this to get tax savings.

Form 1095-A: Healthcare insurance information.

Property Deductions

Form 1098 and other statements will contain property tax records and evidence of the use of energy-saving home improvements equipment to get deductions.

Other Deductions

Other documents will include charitable donations which are itemized and other itemized deductions as indicated in Schedule A which are submitted with a tax return.

Need help with taxes?

Finding the right accountant has never been easier. In just 5 minutes, we'll get to know you, your business, and the kind of help you're looking for.


Find an Accountant