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Make Sure to Have These Documents When Filing Taxes

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Mar. 31 2022, Published 3:37 p.m. ET

Being organized is key when it comes to filing taxes correctly. Many people end up paying too much or are underpaid by their state and the IRS because they filled out a form incorrectly or didn’t fill out the correct forms. The common form associated with filing taxes is the W-2 form, which is what most Americans receive if they work for a business that takes taxes out of their paycheck for them. What are all the documents you need to file taxes?

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There are so many other forms that people tend to forget about or simply just don’t know about that can be useful when filing taxes. There are various types of 1099 forms that may have to be filed depending on your financial situation. There's also documentation required if you want to deduct certain expenses such as office supplies, business assets, and more. Having these documents is also crucial if you're a business owner because of the possibility of being audited.

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What documents do I need to file taxes?

Two of the most important forms to have are the W-2 forms and the unemployment, or 1099-G, form. Your employer will usually send you W-2 forms in January or February. The 1099-G form can be found on your state’s online unemployment portal, where you usually go to file for unemployment. If you didn’t receive unemployment payments, don’t expect the form. The same goes for W-2 forms if you weren’t working for the entire tax period.

If you’re an independent contractor, you’ll need to file a 1099-NEC form, which is the form used to report nonemployment compensation over $600. For those who received an economic impact payment in 2021, you’ll have to file the IRS Notice 1444-C, which has the information on the payment you received. The IRS should have mailed the notice at the beginning of 2021.

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If you have student loan debt, the good news is that you can deduct a portion of the interest you paid on it with a 1098-E form. Filing this form can increase your tax refund, but some can forget to file it in the first place. The IRS won't notify you if you forget to file the 1098-E form. Your student loan provider will mail or email the form to you.

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If you were a college student during the year you're filing for, then the 1098-T form should be filed. This form reports information related to tuition and education expenses, which can give the student a tax credit for filing it. Your school will issue this document through physical or electronic mail.

Trading and investing activity have skyrocketed in the last few years, and if you sold your assets and securities, you’re subject to capital gains tax. Usually, a broker will send you a 1099-B to report the gains, but not all platforms do this. So, you’ll have to find the documents on the broker’s platform to see what capital gains you made so you can report them.

Having a tax prep checklist can be useful when filing taxes.

Make a list of what tax forms you want to file when doing your taxes. Using a checklist makes it easier to manage all your documents, and it will make it easier once you’re ready to file.

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