New Client Tax Preparation Checklist

I have new clients ask me what do they need to do to get ready for their tax return preparation. This outline is a good place to start.  It is geared for the individual and small business.  I suggest you highlight the areas that apply to you and check those off.  If you are a small business I need the bookkeeping records.  Either a Quick books file or an excel worksheet.  I don’t need the actual receipts.  Keep those for your records.

Click to Download this New Client Tax Preparation Checklist.


Most people will need:

Personal Information:

This information tells the IRS exactly who’s filing, who is covered in your tax return, and where to deposit your tax refund.

  • Social Security numbers and dates of birth for you, your spouse, your dependents
  • Copies of last year’s tax return for you and your spouse
  • Bank account number and routing number, if depositing your refund directly into your account.

Information about your Income:

  • W-2 forms for you and your spouse
  • 1099-C forms for cancellation of debt
  • 1099-G forms for unemployment income, or state or local tax refunds
  • 1099-MISC forms for you and your spouse (for any independent contractor work)
  • 1099-R, Form 8606 for payments/distributions from IRAs or retirement plans
  • 1099-S forms for income from sale of a property
  • 1099-INT, -DIV, -B, or K-1’s for investment or interest income
  • SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits received
  • Alimony received
  • Business or farming income- profit/loss statement, capital equipment information
  • Rental property income and expenses: profit/loss statement, suspended loss information
  • Prior year installment sale information- Forms 6252, principal and interest collected during the year, SSN and address for payer
  • Miscellaneous income: Jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account, scholarships,etc.

Adjustments to your Income:

The following items can help reduce the amount of your income that is taxed, which can increase your tax refund, or lower the amount you owe.

  • Form 1098-E for student loan interest paid(or loan statements for student loans)
  • Form 1098-T for tuition paid(or receipts/canceled checks for tuition paid for post-high school)
  • For teachers: Canceled checks or receipts for expenses paid for classroom supplies, etc.
  • Records of IRA contributions made during the year
  • receipts for any qualifying energy-efficient home improvements(solar, windows, etc.)
  • Records of Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) contributions
  • Self-employed health insurance payment Records
  • Records of moving expenses
  • Alimony paid
  • Keogh, SEP, SIMPLE, and other self-employed pension plans

If you itemize your deductions:

Deductions and Credits:

The government offers a number of deductions and credits to lower the tax burden on individuals, which means more money in your pocket.  You’ll need the following documentation to make sure you get all the deductions and credits you deserve.

  • Child care costs: provider’s name, address, tax ID, and amount paid
  • Education costs: Form 1098-T, education expenses
  • Adoption costs: SSN of child; records of legal, medical, and transportation costs
  • Forms 1098: Mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and points you paid
  • Investment interest expenses
  • Charitable donations: cash amounts, official charity receipts, canceled checks; value of donated property; miles driven and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Medical and dental expense records
  • Casualty and theft losses: amount of damage, insurance reimbursements
  • Records/amounts of other miscellaneous tax deduction: union dues; unreimbursed employee expenses (uniforms, supplies, seminars, continuing education, publication, travel, etc.)
  • Records of home business expenses, home size/office size, home expenses
  • Rental property income/expenses:profit/loss statement, rental property suspended loss information

Taxes you’ve paid:

  • State and local income taxes paid
  • Real estate taxes paid
  • Personal property taxes paid
  • Vehicle license fees based on the value of the vehicle

Other Information:

  • Estimated tax payments made during the year (self-employed)
  • Prior-year refund applied to current year and/or any amount paid with an extension to file
  • Foreign bank account information: location, name of bank, account number, peak value of account during the year

For the Corporation:

The due date for the 1120c & 1120s is March 15th.  I need 30days to look over the books,make adjustments, reconcile payroll, depreciation, etc. and prepare the return. Please call for a quote.

I will need the Quick Books file.  The bank statements need to be reconciled prior to preparing the tax return.  If you need  this service.  Please call for a quote.

For the Partnership:

The due date is April 15th.  The same day as your personal tax return. You will need the K-1 to prepare your individual tax return.  So it needs to be ready by April 1st.  So please have everything here in my office by March 1st. Please call for a quote.


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Evelyn Edwards, CPA in Austin Texas