Tax Preparation Checklist

1. Get Your Forms In Order

  • W2 for reporting wages
  • 1099 for reporting interest and dividends
  • 1099B for reporting stock and bond sales
  • 1040 for self-employed/individual income tax return
  • If you are filling your taxes late, you will need form 4868 – the application for an automatic extension of time to file a U.S tax return

2. Find Deductions

  • Standard deduction, individual taxpayers: $5,800
  • Standard deduction, married filling jointly: 11,600
  • Retirement/savings contributions (e.g. IRA)
  • Student loan interest
  • Moving expenses

3. Identify Exemptions

  • The personal tax exemption in 20111 is $3,700
  • You are allowed to claim one personal exemption for you and one for your spouse, as long as neither of you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s returns – this is true even if you are the sole income earner in your household
  • You are also allowed to claim one exemption for each dependent, even if the dependent files a return
  • Visit www.irs.gov to help determine how to calculate your exemptions

3. Check Tax Credits

  • First time Homebuyer credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Dependent car credit
  • Adoption credit
  • Education credit
  • Energy improvement credit
  • Foreign paid tax credit

4. Decide How To File

  • E-file
  • Paid preparer
  • Standard deductions
  • Itemized deductions

5. File On Time

  • Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Of The 144,103,375 personal income taxes filed in 2010:

  • 75.7% are e-filed
  • 57.7% Used a paid tax preparer
  • 33.85 claimed itemized deductions
  • 64.4% Claimed standard deductions

Credits Can Help You Save Big!

  • Adoption Credit:
    9,859 taxpayers filed for a total claim of $125 million.
  • 1st Time Homebuyer Credit:
    37,273 taxpayers filed new claims for a total claim of $262 million.
  • 335,341 fraudulent returns were identified by the IRS in 2010. This totaled over $1.88 billion in fraudulent prevented.
  • Only claim deductions you can prove! Keep receipts, have your bank and credit card statements in order and don’t have record of.

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