Tax Checklist - What Federal Tax Forms and Other Items Are Needed to File Taxes?


This tax checklist from ATAX is a great source of information for what federal tax forms and other items you’ll need before you begin filing your taxes.

ATAX is here to help with all your tax-filing needs. We strongly advise that you use a professional tax preparer to help you file your taxes so that you don’t miss out on any important deductions and can receive the largest tax refund or have the lowest tax burden possible.

But no matter if we’re helping you file or you’re filing your taxes yourself, there are certain documents and items you must have. You’ll save time and make the process go by smoothly if you collect them first before beginning to file.

The tax documents listed below (in parentheses) should arrive to you by January 31, the federal deadline for companies and employers to send out tax-related forms. If you don’t receive the documents that apply to you by that date, be sure to contact the business and tell them to send the forms to you right away.

Here’s a tax checklist of what you’ll need to file your taxes:


Each Family Member’s Personal Info:

  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Previous Year's Tax Return
  • Driver's License or Official Form of Identification
  • Social Security Card/ITIN/ATIN

Tax & Income Info: 

  • W-2 Forms
  • Self-employment Income and Expenses
  • Personal Home Sale
  • Rental Expenses and Income
  • Business Asset Sales
  • Taxable Interest Earned (1099-INT)
  • Capital Gains and Stock Dividends (1099-DIV)
  • Sale of Stock (1099-B)
  • Retirement, Insurance, or Pension Income (1099-R)
  • Estimated Taxes Paid
  • Social Security (SSA-1099)
  • IRA or 401(k) Distributions (1099-R)
  • Unemployment Payments (1099-G)
  • Miscellaneous or Freelance Income (1099-MISC)
  • Forgiven Debt (1099-C)
  • Lottery or Gambling Winnings (W-2G for some winnings)
  • State Income Tax Refund (1099-G)

Deductions and Adjustments: 

  • Personal Property Taxes
  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Mortgage Interest (1098)
  • Employee Business Expenses
  • Medical and Health Insurance Expenses (1095-A if covered by Affordable Care Act)
  • Education Expenses (1098-T)
  • Teaching Expenses
  • Interest on Student Loans (1098-E)
  • Gambling Losses
  • Moving Expenses
  • Contributions to Charity (receipts)
  • IRA Contributions

Tax Credits: 

  • Child Care Provider’s Address and Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number
  • Retirement Savings Contributions
  • Adoption Expenses


Whether you’re working with an ATAX professional tax preparer or you’re filing your taxes yourself, it’s important that you know which federal tax forms you should have and to be sure you have them before you begin the filing process. If you follow this tax checklist from ATAX, your tax-filing experience will be much more pleasant and efficient.

To learn more valuable tax information, call ATAX toll free at 1-866-999-2829, or stop by an ATAX office located conveniently nearby. You can also follow us in real time on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


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