What documents will consumers need for tax season?

The later start to the tax filing this season - necessitated on the IRS's end by the government shutdown of a few months ago - may give consumers a little more time to get their affairs in order, but there might still be some confusion about exactly what kind of documents they will need to show their status.

Essentially, the only kind of proof consumers will need to have when it comes to filling out their returns for another year are those related exactly to the things they are listing on their tax forms, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News. For instance, companies for which a person has worked are required to give them W-2 forms, and these are often enough to satisfy most IRS requirements; however, those who received additional income from other sources - such as through independent contracting, interest, dividends, and so on - will need to have some type of 1099.

"In most cases, the IRS doesn't require you to keep records in any special manner, but you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return," Clay Sanford, IRS spokesman in Dallas, told the newspaper. "It's important to get into this routine, because you may forget expenses that qualify as deductions unless you record them when they occur."

What other records will be necessary?
For those who are claiming deductions for qualifying charitable contributions made throughout the year, it will be important to have receipts for those donations, the report said. For donations of less than $250, this can be a canceled check or credit card receipt, but those exceeding that amount will require written proof for each separate donation. Finally, consumers will also need to provide documentation for every itemized deduction they are claiming, such as mortgage interest, travel miles, property taxes, medical expenses, and so on. These can be as simple as receipts, invoices, or canceled checks.

Of course, to know exactly what consumers need on an individual basis given their unique filing situations, it will likely be wise to consult with a tax professional to ensure they are not overlooking anything, and are fully aware of everything they will have to provide at the end of the year.

For a more in-depth look at Liberty Tax Service, visit the Give Me Liberty! Magazine. Follow Liberty Tax on Facebook and on Twitter or contact Liberty Tax directly at 1-877-at-Liberty.