10 Things to Know Before Filing Your Taxes

Good news, filing your taxes does not have to be, well, taxing.

All you have to do is provide the necessary information to your accountant. But how do you know what your accountant needs? Our Accounting Services office has compiled a list of the top 10 common items for most individual tax returns. Of course, your individual tax return can include additional items, so when in doubt, contact your accountant for personalized information.

1. Where did you earn money?

Your accountant needs to know. Gather all W-2s, 1099s, and any other income sources. If you are self-employed, total your gross earnings for the calendar year.

2. Did you have any life changes from the previous year?

Some examples may include married, widowed, or divorced, had a child, changed jobs, retired, moved, or changed banking accounts.

3. Was your health coverage provided through Marketplace?

You will need Form 1095-A to complete your tax return.

4. Did you receive advance Child Tax Credit payments?

If so, the IRS will send you Letter 6419. This letter details the payments you received in 2021.

5. Did you make any charitable contributions to a non-profit?

These are cash donations only. Donated items such as furniture and clothing are not included in this credit. Your adjusted gross income may be reduced by using this tax credit when applicable.

6. Ensure your accountant has your full social security number!

You may be thinking, "Isn’t this on my W-2?" Yes, social security numbers are listed on W-2s and tax documents, but some tax documents only show the last 4 digits of your social security number.

7. List your dependents.

Date of birth, social security number, and relationship are needed for all dependents.

8. Many taxpayers used the standard deduction for their tax return.

However, some people may have enough deductions to itemize. Check with your accountant to see if you need to list your deductions. If you are self-employed, you will want to list your deductions!

9. Do you have a student in college or have student loans?

You may qualify for the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit. Student loan interest may provide a deduction to your adjusted gross income.

10. Do you have a dependent in childcare? Adopted a child?

There are credits potentially available for this as well.

This list of credits and deductions may seem a bit overwhelming, yet it doesn’t even include every credit or deduction possible! But, this is why we do what we do. At Lockshield Partners Accounting Services, we take pride in preparing your return to provide you the greatest benefit. Use the above list as a guide when gathering your information and when you encounter something you’re just unsure about, we are here for you!

Drew Thompson

Senior Accountant, Managing Partner