It’s easy to get overwhelmed with documents before and during tax season. You might receive documents from various different organizations, including employers, financial institutions, and others.
Quite a few documents are now being sent via e-mail, which increases the likelihood they could get lost in your inbox.
With tax season deadlines quickly approaching, here are some of the key documents to be on the lookout for:
While W-2s are the most widespread and well-known tax form, it can be easy to lose track of W-2s if you or your spouse have multiple jobs. Keep track of each employer to ensure you receive the forms in time.
1099-INTs and 1099-DIVs
Most of us receive small interest or dividend payments throughout the year. These payments are reported on a Form 1099 and must be included on your Form 1040. Depending on the source of income, there could be numerous 1099s to report this interest and dividend income. Make a list from last year's tax return to help keep track of these 1099s as they arrive via mail or e-mail.
Form 1099-R is used when a distribution is made from a pension or retirement account. You could receive a 1099-R if your employer was part of a recent merger, and the company which was acquired rolled its retirement funds into the new company’s plan. You could also receive a 1099-R if you get a new job and you roll your existing retirement funds into your new company’s plan.
Different versions of Form 1095 are sent to you recapping your health insurance. While the penalty for not having proper health insurance is suspended for 2019, the form may still be important. So look for it and retain it with your other records.
You will also need any documents that confirm and support any deductions you plan to take. For instance, you may need documentation to claim deductions for day care expenses, educational expenses (Form 1098-T), mortgage interest documentation (Form 1098), proof of medical, dental and vision care, charitable contributions, business records, property taxes, state taxes, and much more.
It is best to use last year's tax return along with a tax organizer to ensure you have all the proper records needed to accurately prepare your tax return. The organizer is especially helpful as there are a list of questions to help you jog your memory to recall certain events that have taken place over the past year that might have a tax consequence. If in doubt, save the documentation, proof of payment, and any receipts!