Documents Check lists


Personal information

Let’s start with the obvious items on any tax prep checklist.

  • 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.

  • Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse and all dependents. Remember, in addition to children, dependents can include elderly parents and others. 


Gather all the documents that confirm the money you received during the previous year.

  • W-2 forms. Employers must issue your W-2 by Jan. 31, so keep an eye on your mailboxes, both physical and electronic.

  • 1099 forms. Each of these ends with a different suffix, depending on the type of payment you received. For example, form 1099-MISC is for contract work. If you’re paid via a third party such as PayPal or Amazon, you’ll likely get a 1099-K. Investment earnings show up on 1099-INT for interest, 1099-DIV for dividends and 1099-B for broker-handled transactions.

    Make sure you have documentation for each before you file:

    • Retirement account contributions. You can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA or self-employed retirement account. Just be sure to stay within the contribution limits.

    • Educational expenses. Students can claim a deduction for tuition and fees they paid, as well as for interest paid on a student loan. The IRS won’t accept your deduction claim without Form 1098-T, which shows your education transactions. Form 1098-E has details on your student loan.

    • Medical bills. Medical costs could provide tax savings, but only if they total more than 7.5% of adjusted gross income for most taxpayers.

    • Property taxes and mortgage interest. If your mortgage payment includes an amount escrowed for property taxes, that will be included on the Form 1098 your lender sends you. That document will also show how much home loan interest you can claim on Schedule A.

    • Charitable donations. To ensure your generosity pays off at tax time, keep your receipts for charitable donations. The IRS could disallow your claim if you don’t have verification.

    • Classroom expenses. If you’re a school teacher or other eligible educator, you can deduct up to $250 spent on classroom supplies.

    • State and local taxes. You can deduct various other taxes, including either state and local income or sales taxes (up to $10,000, including property taxes). You don’t need receipts for the sales tax; the IRS provides tables with average amounts you can claim. The tax on a major purchase, however, can be added to the table amount, so keep those receipts.

    Note that state income taxes paid should be on your W-2, but remember to add any state estimated taxes you paid during the year.

Business Tax Return Checklist

New Clients – a copy of prior year return and financials

Backup of Data File please make note of the following:

  • Software package (e.g. MYOB, Quickbooks) Version
    (e.g. Premier v17.6) and Password.
  •  Please ensure that bank accounts in the datafile are
    reconciled to bank statements.
  • Copies of all bank statements indicating opening &
    closing balance for the financial year.
  •  Copies of all BAS statements for the financial year


  • Stocktake details as at 30 June where applicable
  •  Details of Capital Gains Tax assets (e.g. stock, shares and
    real estate) sold, including dates of, and costs associated
    with, acquisition and disposal (including settlement
    statements and Sale/purchase agreements.
  •  Dividends, including details of franking credits.
  •  Income from foreign sources, including details or
    foreign taxes paid.


  • Bad debts actually are written off during the year
  •  Gifts or donations of $2 and over to deductible entities
  •  Legal expenses
  •  Lease documents for motor vehicles, premises
    and equipment
  •  Car expenses (remember to include petrol, repairs and
    parking and maintain a log book where necessary)
  •  Odometer reading of all vehicles at the 31st March 2005.


  •  New loans that were taken out during the year and their
    purpose; including any new lease or hire purchase
  •  Statements from the lending authority detailing the
    opening and closing balances of existing loans during
    the financial year.
  •  Creditors listing as at 30th June.
  •  Details of loan accounts to directors, shareholders,
    beneficiaries and partners.
  •  Debtors listing (including a list of bad debts written off)
    as at 30111 June. NB in order to claim a deduction,
    the debt must be written off on or before 30th June.
  •  Details of depreciable assets acquired and/or disposed
    of during this income year including:
  • Type of asset, Date of acquisition, Consideration received/


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