5 Things to Do to Get Ready to File Your Taxes

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2015)

By Ivy Ford, EM Tax Columnist, Tax Biz

It takes a bit of planning to ensure that things go smoothly when it is time to file your taxes each year.  Below are a few tips to help you prepare for the process:

1. Make a list of all income sources.

  • Employer/ contractor–include all jobs whether held short or long term – obtain and submit your 1099 or W-2 statements that reflect the amount you earned. You must file all of your income for the year you earned it.
  • Bank interest/ stock earnings and trades/ mutual funds/ etc.

2. Gather all receipts.

  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Mortgage interest and real estate taxes statement
  • Cash and property donations to charitable organizations
  • Church donations
  • Casualties, theft, and disasters
  • Unreimbursed Employee Expenses – (tolls, uniforms, mileage only from one business site to another)
  • Business Expenses – (office supplies, advertising, mileage, lease expenses, business-related travel and food)
  • If you or your child is in college obtain your 1098-T

3.  Determine eligibility requirements for claiming a dependent.

  • Gather your identification and social security cards for yourself and your dependents. Remember that in order for you to claim your dependent, you must show that they live at your same address. This can be done by presenting one of the following: medical card, report card, child care  receipts, lease, or court documents.

4. Compile your tax information throughout the year.

  • Organize all of the above items so that it will reduce stress as you are trying to file your taxes.

5. Be careful with your personal information.

  • Remember do not to give your personal information to anyone via telephone or email. There are plent of scams the IRS warns about on the IRS.gov website.

About Ivy Ford

Ivy Ford is a seasoned tax preparer with more than 15 years of experience in the tax industry. She is a master tax specialist and owner of Tax Biz, Inc. with offices in Houston and Fresno. To find out more, visit one of the following convenient Tax Biz locations at 12033 Highway 6, Ste. 600, Fresno, Texas 77545 or 15822 S. Post Oak Rd., Houston, Texas 77053. You can follow her on Twitter @taxbizinc and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/taxbizinctoday. If you have a tax question, e-mail taxbizinc@yahoo.com.

5 Things to Do to Get Ready to File Your Taxes