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Tax Prep Checklist

Preparing For Tax Season

Traditionally, February is known for Valentine’s Day. But it is also the unofficial start of the three-month tax season. Knowing what documents and information you will need to gather early on may help you be better prepared to meet the tax filing deadline in April.

No matter if you prepare your own taxes, use an accountant or use a tax preparation service, make the process quicker and easier by using a checklist of everything you will need. This blog covers some of the common items you will need to prepare your taxes.

When Is the 2024 Tax Deadline?

The deadline for Americans to file their individual income tax returns in 2024 is April 15, which is known as Tax Day. This year, the Internal Revenue Service began accepting 2023 tax returns filings on Jan. 29.

Use a Tax Prep Checklist

As mentioned, create a checklist of all the items you’ll need to prepare your taxes. There’s a myriad of IRS documents that are available, depending on your 2023 financial situation. For the most part, filers should have gathered the following information:

Personal Information: A great place to start is with a copy of your prior year’s tax return. A lot may have changed in a year. Reviewing 2022’s tax return as you prepare 2023’s will give you an opportunity to recall details about how you filed your taxes and what forms you used.

When preparing your taxes, be sure to verify the accuracy of addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, and financial account numbers. Also, be sure that information from a spouse, domestic partner and/or dependent is up to date, according to

Documents: To file your taxes, you’ll need to provide documents issued by employers, banks, retirement accounts, colleges, religious organizations, charitable groups and more. According to the IRS, each tax situation is different and may require the documents listed below:

  • W-2 Form: This document was issued to you by your employer(s). It contains all of your past year’s wages, the taxes collected and other information.
  • 1099 Forms: There are several types of 1099 forms that may be issued to you because of the income you earned outside of your regular job. They cover any interest you received from savings, unemployment compensation, retirement distributions and more.
  • 1095 Form: This document is related to health care coverage for the tax year. It proves that you had essential medical coverage and lists any payments or claims for the tax year.

Deductions: Deductions help reduce your taxable income, which lowers your tax bill. Consider looking for deductions wherever applicable. For example, here are some deductions you could claim if they occurred during the tax year. Please consult your tax advisor for details and to learn what forms are needed to claim these deductions.

  • Retirement account contributions
  • Educational expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Property tax and mortgage interest
  • Charitable donations
  • Classroom expenses (teachers)

Credits: Like deductions, tax credits are used to subtract, dollar for dollar, the amount you may owe in taxes, according to There are several tax credits you may qualify for, depending on your tax situation. Here are a few of them:

  • American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Lifetime Learning Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Retirement Savings Contributions Savers Credit

These credits require you to provide supporting documents to show you’re eligible to receive them. Consult your tax advisor to see if you can claim these.

Potential Tax Payments: When you file your income taxes, there’s a possibility of owing money to the federal government because not enough taxes were withheld during the year. A good way to avoid owing taxes for the next year is to use a tax withholding estimator to ensure you are taxed at the correct amount.

Travis Can Help

Travis Credit Union is here to help our Members achieve their financial goals. Members have access to tax services discounts on Turbo Tax and H&R Block that can ease the cost of filing. If you expect to owe taxes this year, we can help you with a personal loan, as well as show you how to save money each month for next year.

If you’re expecting a tax refund, read our Financial Wellness Blog on how to make your tax refund work for you. Also, we can help you plan better as part of your financial wellness.

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