NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Ready to File?

Ready to File?

 

                The tax deadline of April 15th is fast approaching.  If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, now is the time to start finding all those records and receipts.  How do you make sure you’re ready to file taxes? 

          Start with gathering names, addresses and social security numbers for yourself, your spouse, if filing jointly, and any dependents. If there have been no additions or deaths in your family, you will find that info on last year’s tax form.

                Second, collect W-2 forms and 1099 forms from everybody you worked for during that tax year. Do the same for your spouse. Your employer will have already supplied that to you (deadline for them was Jan. 31) but be aware many employers no longer give paper copies – you may need to go online to your employee account with your employer for the info.   Ask your employer for specifics.

                Gather other documents that show income. Examples include brokerage statements for stock sales, stock option purchase paperwork, alimony checks, tax returns from the previous year and receipts for rent or other supplementary income. Collect the various 1099 and K-1 forms that represent your investment income.

                Collect 1098 forms from loans with tax-deductible interest, such as your mortgage and student loans.  Also find statements from your qualifying retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans.  Again, some companies provide this online so check with your with your investment agent or company.

                Gather other receipts for tax-deductible expenses. Examples include, but aren't limited to, moving expenses, child care costs, education costs and energy credits, charitable contributions.

                Whether you file your return yourself, or have it done by a tax professional, you want to make sure you include all your deductible expenses and income on your return. Failure to do so may result in you having to pay more taxes than you should, or file an amended tax return, which means additional associated time and monetary costs.

                Make a list and check it twice. If you are not sure whether something should be included, check with a tax professional.

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