Organizing Your Tax Documents

bigstock-Tax-Time-Concept-Clock-Closeup-29879213-donskarpo copy



You can make Tax Time easier with an early start. Maximize your deductions with planning and organization.

By gathering your records as they arrive, you can make this a simple process allowing you to prepare your returns and receive your refunds early!


Most of Your Records Should be Mailed to You in January

By January 31st, you should be receiving the following records that are most, and maybe all, of what you will need to complete your Federal 1040 and California 540 tax returns.


Place the following records, when they arrive, in an envelope or folder marked “Tax Documents”:

  • W-2 statements from employers reporting wage income and federal and state tax withheld
  • 1095-A, B, or C  Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
  • 1098-T Tuition Statement
  • 1098 statements showing mortgage interest paid
  • 1099-MISC statements reporting payments to independent contractors
  • 1099-INT statements from financial institutions showing interest income
  • 1099-DIV statements from financial institutions or companies showing dividend income
  • 1099-B statements from brokerage or mutual fund companies showing capital gains and losses as well as the acquisition cost of mutual fund shares or stock shares
  • 1099-G postcard from the FTB showing the amount of any state tax refund received
  • 1099-G showing unemployment compensation received
  • 1099-R statements showing pension and retirement plan distributions and tax withheld
  • SSA-1099 showing Social Security benefits received
  • K-1 schedules showing partnership and S corporation income

Additional items to add to the “Tax Document” envelope or folder:

  • Copies of rent checks showing rental property income, and records of expenses and repairs
  • Self-employment expenses and any income not reported to you on a Form 1099
  • Divorce or separation papers to substantiate alimony received or paid
  • Receipts or acknowledgements for cash and non-cash charitable contributions
  • Receipts for medical expenses
  • Receipts, cancelled checks, or other substantiation of employee business expenses, investment expenses, education expenses (for qualified educators), child care costs, documented moving or job search expenses, professional dues, tax preparation expenses, fees paid for safety deposit boxes, and other miscellaneous deductions
  • Social Security numbers and birthdates for yourself, your spouse, and claimed dependents
  • Records of estimated tax payments
  • Records to substantiate the business use of your home, showing the percentage used as a home office if this applies
  • Receipts for large purchases made during the year, which may include automobiles, appliances, or other big-ticket items


Are you Ready to Prepare your Tax Return?

How do you know you have received all of your tax document forms? Make it easy to see by creating a list of all of the interest bearing accounts you have (including checking, savings, & certificates of deposit). Add all of your brokerage accounts to that list. Also include all lenders whom you paid mortgage interest to and all counties/taxing authorities to whom you paid real estate taxes to. Make a separate list of all of the partnerships or corporations that you have an interest in.

Each time you receive a form K-1, 1099-Int, 1099-Div, 1099-R(Retirement), 1098-E, or tax statement cross off the name of the payee from the list you created. Continue marking the list until they are all marked as received.



These suggestions are very generic and everything may not apply to your individual tax situation or you may have a much more complicated tax situation. Steven Z. Freeman, CPA and the staff at Freeman and Associates provide IRS Tax Preparation services and can assist you with any actual calculations on your Tax Returns. If you have any questions on this matter or to schedule a complimentary initial consultation, please call us at      (805) 495-4211.

Speak Your Mind