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Getting organized for 2018 taxes: What you need to know

Individuals 02.15.2019 3 MIN READ

While the April 15 tax filing deadline is coming up, with advance preparation, doing your taxes can be much easier. We’ve created this checklist of documents and forms that you’ll need to help you prepare your return. Whether you do your own taxes or you use a tax preparer, this checklist will help you organize the necessary information.

Where did you receive income in 2018?

Documentation/forms needed:
  • Paid job(s)
  • W-2
  • Investments, such as interest or dividends
  • 1099-INT, 1099-DIV
  • Tax refunds from a state government, Unemployment compensation
  • 1099-G
  • A pension, annuity or retirement plan
  • 1099-R
  • Social Security
  • SSA-1099
  • Other miscellaneous income
  • 1099-MISC
  • Business or rental properties, farms
  • Business records, receipts and check registers

What expenses did you have that may reduce your tax bill?


Documentation/forms needed:
  • Home mortgage interest
  • 1098
  • Real estate taxes
  • Receipts from your city, town or country1
  • Charitable contributions
  • Tuition, fees or other qualified education expenses
  • 1098-T
  • Student loan interest
  • 1096-E
  • Child and dependent-care expenses
  • Caregivers' tax ID numbers, receipts, copies of checks or check register
  • Casualty loss from a federally declared disaster
  • Proof of loss, contractor estimates, receipts for the cost of cleaning up or making repairs, amount of any insurance reimbursement

What else did you do this year that might impact your taxes?

Documentation/forms needed:
  • Made retirement plan contributions, including Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA
  • Amount of your contributions, your W-2, Form 5498 and traditional IRA basis (Form 8606)
  • Health savings account (HSA) contributions
  • Year-end statement, copies of checks or check register, Form 5498-SA
  • Sold investments
  • 1099-B
  • Change in marital status, or added a new person to your family
  • SSN or other IRS-issued Taxpayer Identification Number for spouse and/or dependents, divorce or separation instrument, W-2 for adoption benefits, receipts for adoption expenses

Have you already paid some of your taxes?

Documentation/forms needed:
  • Withholding on your paycheck
  • Included on your W-2
  • Withholding from a pension annuity, 401(k) withdrawal, etc.
  • 1099-R
  • Estimated payments
  • Copy of your payment vouchers and checks

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1If you escrow, these payments may also be noted on the 1098 you receive from your lender.

2Substantiation letter for non-cash gifts should indicate amount of cash and description of other property, statement indicating whether any goods or services were exchanged if applicable.

Note: Not intended to cover all situations or examples. Consult a financial or tax advisor to be sure you fully understand your tax situation.

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