What Information Do I Need to File My Taxes?

File a tax return every year for your income the previous year.

File a tax return every year for your income the previous year.

Tying the knot increases the complexity of filing your tax returns. Marriage can change your tax liability and may bring new tax considerations, such as child care expenses, mortgage interest or investment income. You need documentation to support your credits and deductions. Before you begin completing your tax return, gather all of your records.

Personal Information

Your tax return forms require personal information, including your name, your spouse's name, your address and phone number, and the Social Security number or taxpayer identification number for each spouse. You also need the Social Security number for any child for whom you claim a child tax credit. For faster processing of any refund, provide your bank account number and routing number to allow direct deposit of the payment.

Tax Documents

Filling out your tax return requires several tax documents. The most common tax documents include W-2 forms for inputting your total yearly income and the amount of taxes you already paid. Other tax documents include 1099 forms for self-employment income, unemployment income and investment income. You may also have 1098 forms for mortgage interest, student loan interest and tuition paid. These forms must be mailed by the generating agency by the end of January for the previous tax year.

Deductions and Credits

Deductions and credits lower your total tax burden. Common deductions for filing taxes include child care costs, education costs, medical costs, charitable donations and business expenses. Assemble your receipts for these expenses and keep them with your other tax documents. You also need documentation of any taxes paid throughout the year if you are self-employed.

IRS Forms and Schedules

Once you assemble your tax documents and receipts, you'll need official tax return forms. All federal forms are available on the Internal Revenue Service website, by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM or through the IRS' Free File service online. You may also consider taking your tax documents and receipts to a tax preparation specialist or accountant to fill out your taxes for you.

Keeping Your Documents

Filing your taxes electronically eliminates the need to mail in your tax return forms, documents and receipts. This doesn't mean you can throw them away. For most taxpayers, the IRS recommends keeping tax documents for three years from the date you filed your return. You'll need these records if you are audited by the IRS.


About the Author

Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.

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