How many times have you asked yourself, "Have I got EVERYTHING to do my taxes?" Probably too many times.
While the tax laws may change from year to year, the basic information you need to do your return or take to your tax preparer doesn't change that much from year to year.
What may change is what you can DO with the information.
You will need W-2 forms, 1098 forms to document the interest you pay on your mortgage, receipts for your charitable donations and documentation on any property taxes you pay.
If you have a lot of investments, you'll want trade information so you or your tax preparer can calculate taxes due on capital gains and dividends.
Here's a reference of all the data you might need and who should have it or keep track of it. And start organizing the collection and organizing of all this material.
|Information you need||Where to get the data|
|Social Security numbers (including spouse and children)||These are required to qualify for exemptions.|
|Your child-care provider's tax ID or Social Security number||This is critical to qualify for child care credits.|
Form 8332, copies of your divorce decree, or other documents proving your right to claim a child living with your ex-spouse.
Divorce documents are on file in the court where you filed. Your lawyer should have them as well. Form 8332 is available on the IRS Web site.
|EMPLOYMENT & INCOME DATA|
|W-2 forms for this year||These come from your employer.|
|Partnership and trust income||Data for these should come from an accountant or financial institution.|
|Pensions and annuities||Data should come from the financial institution, insurance company selling the annuity or pension fund.|
|Social Security Railroad Retirement Benefits||You will need Form RRB 1099 or Form RRB 1042S for nonresident alien recipients of Railroad Retirement benefits.|
|Alimony received||Tax information should come from your ex-spouse or his representative. Your former spouse will want your Social Security number to be able to deduct any alimony payments.|
|Jury duty pay||Data should come from the court clerk.|
|Gambling and lottery winnings||This data should come from the casino or lottery authority. Use Form W-2G.|
|Prizes and awards||Data should come from the award givers. Use Form 1099-MISC.|
|Scholarships and fellowships||Data should come from the administrators of these programs. Use Form 1099-MISC.|
|State and local income-tax refunds||Data should come from the taxing authorities.|
|Residential address(es) for this year||This is your responsibility.|
|Mortgage interest||Your lender will send you this data on Form 1098.|
|Sale of your home or other real estate||Your lender or closing agent should send you Form1099-S.|
|Second-mortgage interest paid||Your lender will send you this data on Form 1098.|
|Real-estate taxes paid||Your county clerk or lender should send you this data.|
|Rent paid during tax year||You need to generate this data.|
|Moving expenses||If your expenses are reimbursed by an employer, the employer will furnish you with data on the moving costs they paid for.|
First-time homebuyer credit
You will need to file Form 5405 to claim the credit. You will need data from your sale closing documents.
|Interest-income statements||Financial institutions will provide this data on Form 1099-INT & Form 1099-OID.|
|Dividend-income statements||This will come on Form 1099-DIV from the company paying the dividends.|
|Proceeds from broker transactions||Your brokers should furnish this data on Form 1099-B.|
|Tax refunds and unemployment compensation||The issuing agencies should send this information on Form 1099G.|
|Miscellaneous income including contract or freelance work or rent||This should come from whoever distributes the income on Form 1099-MISC.|
|Retirement-plan distribution||Whoever sends out your pension checks should send you this data on Form 1099-R.|
|Auto loans and leases, including account numbers and car value, if the vehicle is used for business||You can get this data from the lender or leasing company.|
|Student loan interest paid||The lender should furnish this data on Form 1098-E.|
|Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other time deposits||Financial institutions should provide this data.|
|Personal-property tax information||This data should come from the state or local taxing authority.|
Cash for Clunkers reporting
All forms should have been filed by the dealer that sold the vehicle. The credit doesn't need to be reported on your federal return. Your state may have some requirements, however.
|Gifts to charity||This data should come from the charity. Since 2007, you have new responsibilities. You will need a bank record (such as a canceled check, a bank copy of a canceled check, or a bank statement containing the name of the charity, the date, and the amount) or a written communication from the charity. The written communication must include the name of the charity, date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution.|
|Unreimbursed expenses for volunteer work||You will need to keep your own records for this. Remember, you can deduct any driving expenses for volunteer or charitable work at the rate of 14 cents a mile.|
|Unreimbursed expenses related to your job||You will need to maintain this data.|
|Travel expenses, entertainment, uniforms, union dues, subscriptions and investment expenses||Your broker will furnish some data. Travel, phone and other related expenses are your responsibility to track.|
|Job-hunting expenses||You will need to keep and maintain this data.|
|Education expenses||You will need to keep this data. But if you qualify for Hope or Lifetime Learning credits or other college deductions, the college involved will send you the data on the qualifying expenses you've paid. If you plan to claim education deductions, you will need Form 1098-T from the institution. If you expect to deduct interest on student loans, get Form 1098-E from the lender.|
|Child-care expenses||You will need to keep this data.|
|Medical savings accounts||The institution handling the account will be able to generate any data.|
|Adoption expenses||You will need to track this data and be able to document these expenses.|
|Alimony paid||You or the authority disbursing funds will need to keep this data. To deduct this expense, you will need the recipient's Social Security number.|
|Sales-tax expenses||If you expect to claim a sales tax deduction on your 2009 tax return, you will need receipts for expenses. Or you can fill out a worksheet that the IRS provides to help estimate sales tax expenses.|
|Tax-return-preparation expenses and fees||Your preparer can furnish this data to you.|
|K-1s on all partnerships||The partnership management should generate this data.|
|Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses||This is data you should keep and track.|
|Farm income||You or an accountant should tack this information. You will need to prepare Schedule F.|
|Federal, state and local estimated taxes paid for current year, including estimated tax vouchers, cancelled checks & other payment records||You must keep copies of this data and track it.|
|IRA, Keogh & other retirement plan contributions||You can get this information from your financial institutions.|
|Medical expenses||You must track this data.|
|CASUALTY OR THEFT LOSSES|
|Other miscellaneous deductions||You will need to file Form 4684.|
Updated Dec. 18, 2009