Your quick-start guide to tax preparation.
From state tax information, business expenses, and federal tax documents to W-2 forms, records of reimbursements, and personal property taxes, having a guide to what you need to file can be handy whether you work with a CPA or file yourself with tax software. Keeping track of so many different forms, receipts, and personal documents is a daunting task for any taxpayer.
Create your tax document checklist.
1. Gather your personal details.
2. List your income and expenses.
3. Digitize your paper documents.
4. Send it to your family or tax preparer for review.
With all your documents in one place, it’s easy to highlight sections, add notes, and share the entire file with family members, so they can add their own personal information. Once you’ve gathered everything you need, compress the file if necessary and email it to your tax preparer so they can complete your return. Be sure to password protect the file before you send it to anyone to keep your personal data secure.
When you’re filing a complicated return, the sheer number of tax forms required to claim your refund can make you want to just give up and take the standard deduction. But some patience, preparation, and the right tools can wind up saving you a lot of money.