Monday, March 26, 2012

What do I need before I can e-file?

I hope this isn't your stack of papers labelled, "For Taxes"

To begin this article, first make sure you are up to date on tax law changes for 2011 income taxes. You can check out these changes in detail at,,id=254023,00.html on The I.R.S. Website.

With tax time looming ever closer, you now have about 3 weeks to e file your income taxes. Just because the deadline is coming quickly doesn't mean that you should rush to turn in your return so hastily. Taking the time to make sure you have all your documents and records handy and organized will save you from scrambling and forgetting the more obvious stuff that most would overlook.

Here's a quick list of the MOST important things you should bring. I use this small list as a, “If your house were on fire and you can only grab 5 important documents for your tax preparation” guideline:
  1. Last year's return. If you used income tax preparation software, you should import last years electronically filed tax return.
  2. Information from your bank account
  3. Yours and your dependents' social security numbers
  4. Receipts in regards to your business
  5. Charitable deductions

Now on to the real nitty gritty. You may have more things than this but as a good rule of thumb, “If it's a receipt and it's related to your business or any other expense, bring it.”

Income information and forms:
  • Jobs: W-2 tax forms
  • Past returns
  • 1099 forms
  • Any alimony you have received
  • Business income
  • Any home business expenses
  • Social Security benefits(if any)
  • Any income from sales
  • Any income from anything else(keep those receipts!)

Income Adjustments:
  • Interest from student loans
  • Self-employed payments for health insurance
  • Alimony you have paid
  • Moving expenses you may have incurred

Other Information:
  • Any amount of your current year taxes you have paid during the year
  • Information for your direct depositing(Account and Routing numbers)

Most income tax preparation software will run error and audit checks on your return when you've completed your return. In order for these to work though,
The software can only check errors correctly if your input is correct, so double check what you're filling in before making the error checks.
Making sure you have these documents handy for when you efile your taxes will make you that much more prepared for when you decide to stop procrastinating and get those taxes filed! I mean come on, the longer you take to e file, the longer you have to wait for your refund! Unless you owe taxes, then...sorry and good luck, Sir or Madam!

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  1. Very informative post. With the tax filing deadline coming up this year, I will definitely follow your advice! Doing efile taxes is very simple and much more convenient in my opinion. Times have changed when we can do just about anything online, which makes tax season less stressful.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mike! Appreciate you stopping by!

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