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Whether you prepare your taxes yourself or consult a professional, it's a good idea to gather the information and documentation you need well in advance of the tax filing deadline. Here is some key information you might need when preparing this year's taxes.
The personal information you could need to file taxes might contain information from your prior year's return, including:
- Your Social Security number (SSN), along with Social Security numbers for your spouse, if applicable, and any dependents.
- Last year's Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) if you're e-filing your taxes and need to confirm your identity.
- Any tax filing PIN you may have.
Your tax return typically requires documentation for all the taxable income you received the previous year. This might include:
- W-2 forms.
- 1099 forms.
- 1099-MISC for contract employees.
- 1099-K for those who receive payment through a third-party provider like Venmo or Paypal.
- 1099-DIV for investment dividends.
- 1099-INT for investment interest.
- 1099-B for transactions handled by brokers.
- Receipts, pay stubs, or any other documentation on income that isn't otherwise reflected.
Next, gather information on deductions that help reduce your overall tax burden. These include, but aren't necessarily limited to:
- IRA and other retirement contributions.
- Medical bills.
- Property taxes.
- Mortgage interest.
- Educational expenses like college tuition or student loan payments.
- State and local income taxes or sales taxes.
- Charitable donations.
- Dependent care expenses.
- Classroom expenses (for teachers).
There are other state-specific deductions that may apply to your situation.
Tax Credit Information
Credits may further decrease your tax burden. Unlike deductions, which may lower your taxable income, tax credits simply credit you a portion of what you'd otherwise owe. Some available tax credits may include:
- Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Child Tax Credits.
- Dependent Care.
- American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits.
- The Saver's Credit.
Often, the information needed to receive these tax credits may be duplicative of other tax information. For example, having your retirement contribution records handy may support both an IRA deduction and the Saver's Credit (if you qualify). Having your child's Social Security number may allow you to fill out the Child Tax Credit section and the dependent care deduction. The more income- and deduction-related information you have in one spot, the more streamlined your tax preparation process should be.
Tax Payment Information
Gather and provide information on how much you've already paid in taxes, whether through estimated tax payments, income withholdings, or both. This helps you quickly calculate your total amount due once you've entered your income, deduction, credit and withholding information.
Talk to a Financial Advisor
Financial advisors with BECU Investment Services are here to help. Our team will take the time to get to know you, understand your goals and plan and implement a financial strategy that's appropriate for you. Set up a complimentary consultation or call 206-439-5720.
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