Taxpayers can save time and money by keeping track throughout the year of the information they will need when filing their tax return. 

Although it takes time to set up a record-keeping system, it can save time in the long run especially when taxpayers have waited to the last minute to file. Not only will it save time, but a thorough search through a check register, receipts, credit-card statements and other documents can save money by ensuring that you pay the lowest possible amount of tax.

The following checklist includes some of the most common items taxpayers need to substantiate income, deductions and credits:  

1.         Statements of all income received during the year: W-2s; unemployment compensation; income from jury duty, hobbies, casual labor: the sale of stock or other property.

2.         Money received from rents, royalties, alimony, pensions, prizes and tips.

3.         Interest earned on savings accounts and other investments.

4.         Dividends received from mutual funds and corporate securities.

5.                  Records of items eligible for deductions:

      Medical insurance premiums and other medical and dental expenses

      Interest paid on your home mortgage

      Contributions to charities

      Contributions to an IRA or Keogh plan

      Real estate and personal property taxes

      Union or professional dues

      Employment agency fees

      Educational expenses incurred to improve your job skills

      Tax preparation fees

      Investment expenses.

6.         Amounts paid for childcare while the taxpayer works or goes to school, plus the name,  address and tax          identification number of the child-care provider.

7.        Job-related moving expenses.

8.        Education expenses and statements for student loan interest.


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