What Documents Do You Need to Gather Before Filing Your Taxes?

Posted on: 16 March 2020

Tax season is here, and you want to make sure that you're ready. Filing your taxes and paying them on time is a must. If you're new to handling this, or if you struggle with it every year and need a little assistance, we'll help you better understand what documents you will need to gather before filing your taxes. Keep reading to learn more.

Taking the time to gather up your documents now can help make tax filing a lot quicker. You won't have to search all around your home looking for a particular document.

Personal Income

One of the most important parts of the tax filing process is verifying the income that you've made. If you made any income last year, it needs to be reported correctly. Here are some income-related tax documents that you may need to gather.

W-2 Forms 

If you're an employee, you'll need to gather any and all W-2 forms.

1099 Forms

If you're not an employee and are instead a contractor, you'll need to collect your 1099-MISC. Other 1099 forms may need to be collected if you were paid through a third party (1099-K) or if you received interest income (1099-INT).

Proof of Deductions

You'll also want to gather any documentation that can help you prove that you qualify for deductions. If you ever get audited in the future, you'll want to be able to prove that you received deductions fairly. So, be sure to collect these receipts and documents early on and keep them in a folder.

Some examples of this include education expenses, student loan interest payments, retirement account contributions, charitable donations, state and local taxes paid, mortgage interest paid, and medical bills.

Proof of Credits

Just like with proving your deductions, you'll want to be able to prove tax credits. 

Some examples of this include child tax credit, American opportunity and lifetime learning credits, and retirement savings contributions credit. 


If you didn't have taxes taken out of a paycheck like most W-2 workers, you'll need to show that you made tax payments throughout the year. Gather up clear documentation that proves what payments were made and when they were made. 

Having all of these documents in order will make preparing and filing taxes simple. If you need help filing your taxes or if you have important tax questions, be sure to reach out to a tax preparer such as Hough & Co CPA. Tax preparers know the tax laws and are ready to make the tax season a lot easier.