What papers do I need to prepare my tax return?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,136
    Tax Director Art Auerbach discusses which papers are needed for tax return preparation.

    Host: What papers do I need to prepare my tax return?

    Aurthur Auerbach: The papers that a taxpayer needs are the ones that I referenced at the introduction. Those are the basic 1099 forms, Interest, Dividends, Sales of Securities, Mortgages, if you are an owner of the piece of property. Several or most of the folks are also wage earners. So you will obviously need your form W2 from your employer or employers. It is important to have all of them there. Now those are really important because the Federal Government, the Internal Revenue Service does a really good job of matching the copy that the employer sends to individual returns. So if you leave one of them out it is going to delay the processing of the tax return. It may hold up a refund, it may cause them to write you and you will have to incur some more effort in order to get your tax return processed. So having all of those basic documents in front of you is very important.

    If you are an employee it would be also be helpful if you had your less paystub of the year, December 31st paystub. The reason that I mentioned that, there are a number of things that people do at places of employment where there are no boxes on the W2 to include that information. For example, if you are Federal employee you might be part of the combined campaign for charitable contributions. So you have some portion of your pay deducted, remitted to the charity of your choice, but if you look at your W2 form there is no box on there for that. So unless you have the paystub, you might miss that charitable contribution deduction. For those folks who work in places where there are unions, they may do a check off for union dos. There is no box on the W2 form to put that either. So you would miss that deduction for union dos if you didn't have your last paystub and there are many others. Those are just illustrations.