Before beginning your tax return, here are a few things you should know.
Social Security Numbers
It is important that you have the correct social security number and date of birth for each person you will claim as an exemption on your return. If each name, social security number and date of birth do not match exactly when you file the return, the IRS will reject your return and ask you to submit the correct information.
Preparing your tax return will be easier if the records you need are organized and readily available.
- proof of identification
- Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse, and dependents
- birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents
- wages and earnings statements, such as Forms W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, etc.
- interest and dividends statements from banks, brokerages, etc.
- a copy of last year's tax return
- bank routing and account numbers (for refund or payment)
- the amount you paid for childcare and the childcare provider's tax identification number
- receipts for charitable donations
Preparing Your Return
You can choose to prepare your return yourself or get assistance from a qualified tax professional.
Hiring a Professional
If you choose to hire a tax professional to prepare your tax return, choose carefully. Before signing your return, review it to ensure that all information is correct, that you understand the entries, and are comfortable with the accuracy of your return. Never sign an unfinished return, and always ask your tax professional to sign the return in your presence.