Personal identification information; details on sources of income; information on adjustments stemming from certain expenses, such as moving; and information on tax deductions and credits, such as charitable donations, are included in TurboTax's preparation checklist. TurboTax also recommends noting any tax payments made during the year.
Before preparing taxes, have family members' Social Security numbers and birthdates on hand, according to TurboTax. Collect details regarding earnings, including family members' W-2 forms showing employment income. Also collect various 1099 forms that cover sources such as investment income, state and local income tax refunds, pension distributions, Social Security benefits and property sales. Other information to have available includes the amount of any alimony receipts, business or farming income, rental property income and installment collections carried over from previous years' sales. Note income from miscellaneous sources such as jury duty, gambling and scholarships.
To adjust income for tax purposes, have information on IRA contributions, energy credits, student loan interest, medical savings account contributions and educator expenses, says TurboTax. Self-employed individuals should note any insurance payments or pension plan contributions. For deductions and credits, note the costs of child care, education, adoptions, home mortgage interest, property taxes and out-of-pocket gifts to charity. Some other items of note include theft losses, union dues, unreimbursed employment expenses and health-related expenditures.
Small businesses must report income and assets such as gross receipts of sales, inventory, returns, allowances and interest from bank accounts, explains H&R Block. They can deduct many business expenses on their return, such as advertising, travel, commissions and wages, depreciation of assets, and the costs of an office. Other expenses eligible for deduction include employee benefits, insurance, and travel and transportation expenses.