What Do You Need to File Taxes?


Preparing for tax season? If this year marks your first time filing taxes, or if it’s been a few years since you last needed to file, you may need to ask: What do I need for my taxes? There are multiple documents needed for a tax return, and they may vary from person-to-person as no two tax returns are the same. Below, you’ll find an overview of the most commonly needed documents to complete a tax return and get your tax refund on its way to your mailbox.

Personal Identification Info

  • Your social security number (SSN) or your tax ID number
  • Your spouse’s full name and SSN or tax ID number (if applicable)

Dependent(s) Information

Asking yourself “what do I need for my taxes if I have dependents?” If you are a parent who will be listing children as dependents, you’ll need to have the following information readily available:

  • Dates of birth and SSNs
  • Childcare payment records (including the carer’s tax ID number)
  • Income amount of any other adults in your home
  • Amount of any alimony payments, with ex’s SSN (if applicable)

Income Statements

The personal income documents you need will depend on if you are employed, self-employed, or unemployed. Additionally, don’t forget to include other forms of income like rental properties, retirement income, and miscellaneous earnings.

  • Employed
    • Form W-2
  • Self-Employed
    • 1099 and Schedule K-1 forms
    • Full record of all work-related expenses
    • Record of estimated tax payments made (form 1040-ES)
    • Home office information, i.e. square footage of office (if applicable)
    • Mileage records for travel (if applicable)
  • Unemployed
    • Unemployment, state tax refund (1099-G)
  • Rental Income
    • Records of income and expenses
    • Rental asset information for depreciation
    • Record of estimated tax payments made (form 1040-ES)
  • Retirement Income
    • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)
    • Traditional IRA basis (amounts you contributed to the IRA that have already been taxed)
    • Social Security/Railroad Retirement Benefits income (1099-SSA, RRB-1099)
  • Miscellaneous Income
    • Full record of miscellaneous earnings such as scholarship or award money, gambling winnings, or lottery pay-outs

Medical Expense Records and Receipts

If you incurred any medical expenses that were not reimbursed, such as exams, preventative care, prescriptions, etc., you’ll want to gather receipts to document them. Additionally, gather the following forms:

  • Health insurance coverage forms 1095-A, B, or C
  • Social Security benefits (SSA-1099)

Itemized Deductions

If you will be claiming any deductions on your tax return, you’ll need to have a clearly organized list prepared to summarize everything. This could include the following:

  • Mortgage interest, real estate, and personal property tax records
  • Charitable and non-charitable donation receipts
  • Job-related expenses that were not reimbursed (travel, tools, meals, phone charges, etc.)
  • Casualty and theft losses
  • Student loan interest

Contact Xpress Cash to Learn More

When you’re asking “what do I need to gather for my taxes?” the above information will help guide you. Whether you’re filing on your own or you’re hiring a professional tax preparer if you have the relevant documents on hand, you can expect a smooth process. If you have any lingering questions about tax preparation and filing, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Xpress Cash. Or, simply stop by one of our multiple Michigan locations — we’re always happy to assist!