The new year is here and 2021 is in the rearview mirror…except for the matter of taxes, of course!
Last year, procrastinators everywhere enjoyed an extra month to file, but we’re back to business as usual in 2022 with the Tax Day deadline looming on April 15. Don’t wait too long to get your taxes prepared and filed! Go ahead and get the ball rolling with this checklist for the 2022 tax season.
✓ Gather the basics
Pull up your federal and state returns from last year; they’ll provide a good refresher of what you filed and what documents you used. Also know Social Security numbers for your family including your spouse and any children or elderly parents who are dependents.
✓ Gather income documents
If you’re working, you should receive a W-2 from your employer by January 31. Or, you may receive 1099 forms if you’re a contract worker or receive income from a third party like PayPal or Amazon.
Retirees commonly need these income documents:
- 1099-INT for interest income
- 1099-DIV for dividends and distributions
- 1099-R for distributions from pensions, annuities, IRAs and retirement or profit-sharing plans
- W-2 for part-time employment
✓ Gather documents for deductions
Deductions help reduce your taxable income and lower your tax bill. If you’re going to file deductions, it’s important to gather all necessary documents in the event you’re audited. Deductions you might qualify for include: charitable deductions, medical deductions, business deductions, and deductions for your individual retirement accounts and 401(k) accounts.
✓ Gather documents for credits
Credits provide dollar-for-dollar cuts in any taxes you owe, but you need documentation to claim them. Some popular tax credits include: American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits, Child Tax Credit, and Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (also known as the Saver’s Credit).
✓ Gather your federal estimated tax payment amount
If you made any federal estimated tax payments during the year, you’ll need to know the amount you paid to file your taxes.
✓ Hire a trusted professional or purchase tax software
If your tax situation is complicated—or you simply aren’t confident when it comes to taxes—you don’t have to go it alone. Find a tax professional in your area who can help you prepare your return. Working with a professional will help you file with confidence and know that you’re maximizing your results. If you’re set on handling your taxes by yourself, consider tax software, which can help with some of the heavy lifting.
No matter what you choose, start the process of gathering your documents and filing early. The earlier you start, the less stress you’ll have as April 15 approaches!
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Bankers Life Securities, Inc., Bankers Life Advisory Services, Inc. and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. Each individual should seek specific advice from their own tax or legal advisors.
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