Trust me. Your taxes aren’t going to file themselves. Even I am guilty of waiting until the last minute.
Tax season can bring on many emotions, but don’t be defeated. Dust off those old shoeboxes in your closet or go into that top drawer that you only touch once a year and find all of your receipts, charitable donations, and other important paperwork.
Preparing ahead of time will help you avoid mistakes and delays in receiving your refund. Confused about what papers to take to your local tax preparer? I’m going to provide you with a checklist of documentation to bring along to make for an error free filing process and possibly an even bigger refund. Everyone could use a little extra money, right?
Simply put, here’s what you will need:
- your driver’s license (and Power of Attorney if filing on behalf of a service member);
- name, birthdate, and Social Security Card of each person in your household;
- your child care provider’s Tax ID number;
- receipts of charitable donations and any taxes that were paid during the year;
- your W-2;
- any paper that contains Form 1098 or 1099 in its title…they are all equally important;
- all of your old tax returns since your tax preparer may want to check them for accuracy;
- and, a copy of all business related expenses and vehicle mileage accumulated during work hours (this mileage includes travel for volunteer work!).
If you are uncertain as to whether you should bring a particular document, just bring it anyway. A more detailed list of paperwork can be found at our tax interview web page.
It’s only natural to have questions, but that’s why your tax preparer is there. They are trained for this kind of stuff! I recommend asking about the preparation fees upfront. There could be referral programs or discounts that you may not even know about. Also, ask about when you could expect to receive your refund and if you can opt for direct deposit to receive it quicker.
Confused about what tax credits may apply to you? Write them down and ask your tax preparer if you qualify for them. Having children or being a full-time student could actually pay off for you.
So throw the stress, confusion, and worries out of the window. Prepare early in order to file smart. For a complete list of Liberty Tax® locations, visit www.libertytax.com.