Tax Prep Checklist: What to Gather Before Filing
December 19, 2023
There are five categories of tax information you must collect to successfully file your tax return.
For example, there's personal information:
- Last year’s taxes. Both your federal and — if applicable — state return. These aren’t strictly necessary, but they’re good refreshers of what you filed last year and the documents you used. Plus, if you're using tax software to file, many providers can upload your prior-year return to save you time from manually keying in your information.
- Social Security and/or tax ID numbers. Have these tax identification numbers ready for yourself, your spouse, and all dependents. Remember, in addition to children, dependents can include elderly parents and others.
- IP PIN. If you, your spouse, or a dependent have been issued an identity protection PIN by the IRS, you'll likely need to have this handy as well.
- Bank account numbers. If you're opting to receive a refund or pay your tax bill directly through your bank account, be prepared to provide your tax pro or software with those routing and account numbers.
For a discussion of the other four categories -- income, deductions, credits, and payments -- read this article.