Tax Preparation Checklist for 2018: Requirements before Tax Filing

Tax Preparation Checklist for 2018: Requirements before Tax Filing

Tax Preparation Checklist

Aside from the traditional New Year’s resolution to prepare for the year ahead, it’s filing of taxes that we also need to fulfill this year. Even if you are not a typical early filer, preparing early for the year will save you from the stress of last-minute filing and you will also have an opportunity to claim your tax refund sooner.

Checklist for Tax Preparation: List of required documents for Tax Filing

Before you prepare your tax return you should have a tax preparation checklist to help you get organized. Here is the list of required documents you’ll need before filing for taxes.

Personal Information

  • Social Security number (including your spouse and dependents, if applicable) or Tax Identification Number.

Employee Information

  • W-2 Forms for the last year

Childcare Expenses

  • Fees paid to a licensed day care center or family day care for the care of an infant or preschooler.
  • Wages paid to a babysitter.

Charitable Contributions

  • Cash amounts donated to organizations such as school, church etc.
  • Records of non-cash charitable donations
  • Records of donations to non-profit organizations
  • Mileage driven for charitable purposes

Medical Expenses

  • Total amount paid for healthcare insurance and expenses; along with itemized receipts
  • Health Insurance
  • Form 1095-A or Form 1095-B and/or 1095-C
  • Marketplace exemption certificate (ECN) if you applied for and received an exemption from the Marketplace

Self-Employment Information

  • Form 1099-MISC
  • Schedule K-1
  • Income records to verify amounts paid if not reported on a 1099-MISC
  • Records of all expenses paid in the last year related to your self-employment business
  • Business-use asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation purposes
  • Home office expenses

Retirement Information

  • The total amount you contributed for the previous year
  • A total value of your retirement accounts as of Dec. 31 of the previous year
  • Pensions, IRA, and other retirement income (Form 1099-R)
  • Social Security income

Rental Income

  • Records of income and expenses paid in the last year
  • Rental asset totals – cost, date placed in service for depreciation determination.

State & Local Taxes or Sales Tax

  • Amount of state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding) or amount of state and local sales tax paid
  • Invoice showing amount of vehicle sales tax paid

Financial Information


  • Your bank account and routing number
  • A list of taxes you paid the previous two years ( including property, state and local taxes; estimated taxes you paid)


Educational Expenses

  • Forms 1098-T from educational institutions
  • Receipts from qualified educational expenses
  • Records of scholarships or fellowships you received
  • Form 1098-E ( for those who paid student loan interest)

Job Expenses

  • Employment-related vehicle expenses (tolls, mileage, gas, maintenance, license, property tax, interest expense, parking)
  • Receipts for classroom expenses (for educators in grades K-12)
  • Employment-related expenses (dues, publications, tools, uniform cost and cleaning, travel)
  • Job-hunting expenses
  • Record of moving expenses not reimbursed by the employer


Preparing this requirement may be overwhelming, but the key to preparing tax requirements is organizing them and not to rush it, that’s why it’s important to start early. The tax checklist mentioned above is generic and may not apply to all filers, so be sure to check each requirement if it’s applicable for you.

If you need to file a tax return, just call us or Contact us.

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