Master Your Taxes with These Quick Tips for Filing


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You can feel it in the air. Yes, tax season is here and so is the stress of trying to organize everything that you need. From gathering all your forms, to recalling potential deductions or additional income, the prospect of making a mistake that could trigger an audit can be terrifying.

These days, most people prefer to file taxes through e-filing because it’s easier, faster, and more secure than filing with paper. Plus, most automated systems provide immediate audit protection.


So, whether you file by paper or online, you will need to compile all the necessary information and documents to prepare your taxes. Here’s a simple checklist of what you need to master your taxes this year.

Personal Information:

  1. Taxpayer Number: You will need your Social Security Card (SSN) or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
  2. Address
  3. Dependent Information: If filing a dependent on your taxes, you will need to record their full legal name, data of birth, and Social Security Number.


Important Forms:

  1. W-2s: For each job that you had throughout this tax year.
  2. 1099s: All other income that needs to be reported to the IRS such as Unemployment, Health Care reimbursement, and Retirement Plan distribution. For more information on this form, go to Turbo Tax.
  3. 1098s: Payments made towards property taxes and student loans.
  4. 1095-A: Credit received from marketplace.
  5. Income & Interest Statements: Received from investments and savings accounts.


  1. Education Expenses: Student loan interest, scholarships, and a 1098-T.
  2. Child Care Expenses: Provide full name, address, Tax ID or Social Security Number information of the childcare/dependent care provider.
  3. Charity: Detailed list of donations and receipts for donations over $250.
  4. Vehicles: Vehicle sales tax paid, total miles driven for personal or business use with detailed log of miles when driven for business matters.

Other deductions to be aware of are moving expenses, energy efficiency improvements for your home, 2014-2015 tax preparation fees, and healthcare expenses. For more on tax deductions, check out the IRS page here.

The most important thing is to organize your taxes by either computer files or paper files to manage all your information easily so you can (hopefully) get that tax refund that much quicker.


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