If you’ve searched the archives, you may have seen our previous tax return tips already. We’re live with an update to get you up to speed for your tax file this year too.
It’s worth pointing out that you don’t have to fill out any forms alone. In fact, experts do suggest hiring a tax preparer or using an online tax return tool that can do the hard work for you. The most important thing is to use a trusted source.
Either way, you’ll also still need to get organized even if a pro is doing it for you; gather your required documents so you’re ready to go.
What documents are required, you ask?
You need to prove your basic personal information first. This includes your social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Don’t forget your name (we hope that’s unlikely!), address and marital status, which you’ll also need.
A marriage certificate isn’t needed if you’re filing jointly, so that’s one thing off your list.
Get hold of the W-2 form (this must be legally provided by your employer before 31 January each year). It’s sometimes called a Wage and Tax Settlement, and it reports your annual wages and taxes withheld from paychecks.
All good so far?
Then you might also need the 1099 form (that reports additional earnings you’ve received throughout the year). These don’t include the earnings reported on a W-2 form. There are different types of 1099 forms, such as those for independent contractors or ones used to report the cancellation of debt, for example.
Good to know!
Not everyone will have a 1099 form.
Working from home reductions are available if you have a 1099 job and work a lot from home. So make sure you claim it if it’s available to you.
Other tax credits and deductions are out there too, say if you’re paying university tuition or student loan interest. If so, two 1098 forms will be needed, one from your university and one from the student loan provider.
Remember, always keep a record of your earnings throughout the year so you can report them. Keep receipts and download bank statements so you can prove the total income you’re reporting. The IRS doesn’t need you to submit this documentation but if you ever get audited, they may ask for the proof.
Keep documentation for up to three years.
We’re getting there. Next, it’s proof of medical insurance. Depending on your situation, there are three different 1095 forms and you’ll need one to prove you’re covered and avoid a penalty.
If you had to file for taxes last year, keep that return handy. You may need it to electronically sign your current tax return, plus it can also help verify information.
We hope this walk-through has helped get you started. Tax refund on the way? Have it paid into MAJORITY’s FDIC-insured account with no overdraft or minimum balance fees!