Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

What your tax professional needs (and doesn’t) to prepare your 1040

For many people, maybe you, preparing a tax return is like a foreign language. Luckily for you, you can always have a tax professional prepare your tax return for you. It can be hard to distinguish what your tax professional needs to complete your return between all the statements, documents and other miscellaneous items you receive throughout the year.

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Here’s a list of some common items your tax preparer needs and doesn’t need to prepare your 1040.

What your tax professional needs:

  • W2s – Wages
  • 1099-INTs – Interest Income
  • 1099-DIVs – Dividend Income
  • Brokerage Statements (Sometimes displayed as Consolidated 1099s) – Investment Income
  • 1099-MISC – Other Income
  • 1099-G – Gambling Income
    • Also provide detail of gambling losses if you have gambling income
  • Summary of income and expenses of any self-owned business or rental activities
    • If you purchased assets during the year, a detail should be provided of the purchase
  • Schedule K1 received from any partnerships, S corporations or trusts
  • 1099-R – Distribution from retirement account or pension
  • SSA-1099 – Social Security benefits paid
  • 1098-T – Amounts paid for tuition
  • Summary of medical expenses, excluding over the counter medicine
  • 1098 – Mortgage Interest
  • Real Estate taxes paid in the current year on your primary residence, regardless of the year the taxes were for
  • Cash Donation Detail – Amount, payee, receipt
  • Noncash Donation Detail – Value of donation, payee, description of items donated, date of donation, receipt
  • If you have a refund and want it direct deposited, the bank name, routing number and account number
  • Detail of any foreign bank accounts or assets
  • Detail of income taxes paid throughout the year

What your CPA doesn’t need:

  • Individual pay stubs
  • Monthly/quarterly investment account statements
  • Individual retirement withdrawal receipts
  • Receipts for any self-owned business/rental expenses
  • Receipts for medical expenses
  • Detail of expenses incurred as an employee
  • Detail of moving expenses
  • Personal expenses – groceries, clothing, vehicle expenses, travel, etc.

Having everything organized and only including the necessary documents for the return makes it a much smoother process to get your tax return done. Keep in mind, this is not an all-inclusive list. As always, contact your tax professional if you have any questions on what items you may or may not need to turn in to complete your tax return.

KC Kolb, CPA