Personal Income Tax Check list

This personal income tax check list is provided to help you gather your thoughts and documents. It is worth 2 minutes of your time to peruse and reflect on what has changed since last year at this time that might make your filings different.

Retrieve supporting documentation for the following:

  • Employment Income (W2, 1099-misc)
  • Retirement Income (1099-R, 1099-SSA, 1099-RRB)
  • Investment Income (1099-Int, 1099-Div, 1099-B, 1099-OID, Schedule K-1)
  • Gambling Winnings (W-2G)
  • Royalties Income from oil, gas, other - mineral, copyright or patent
  • Sale of assets or property (settlement statement)
  • Mortgage Refinance documents
    • Origination Fees
    • Closing Costs
    • Mortgage Interest
  • Refunds or Government Payments (1099-G)
  • Cancellation of debt (1099-C)
  • Educator classroom expenses
  • Employee business expenses
  • Contributions to a Health Savings Account
  • Alimony
  • Student loan interest
  • Tuition and fees for higher education (1098-T)
  • Expenses related to child or dependent care
  • Contributions to a Retirement Savings Account
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Real estate taxes
  • Other state and local taxes
  • Mortgage interest
  • Investment interest
  • Charitable Contributions
  • Noncash Contributions
  • Investment expenses
  • Driver's license or state-issued photo ID
  • Dependent's Social Security Card
  • Dependent's Birth Certificate
  • Dependent's school records, medical records, daycare records, etc.
  • Health Insurance Forms (1095, etc)

Ask yourself these Introductory Questions:

  • Did your marital status change during the year?
  • What is your marital status as of December 31st?
  • Can you or your spouse be claimed as a dependent by someone else?
  • Did your address change during the year?
  • Did you have any changes in dependents during the year?
  • Can another person qualify to claim any of your dependents?
  • Did you have any childcare expenses during the year?
    • Provider, name address, Federal Tax ID Number, phone number
  • Did you have any adoption expenses during the year?
  • Did you have any children under age 19 or a full-time student under age 24 with more than $2200 of unearned income?
  • Did you apply an over payment of your last year's income taxes to your current year's estimated income taxes?
  • If you have an over payment of current year income taxes, do you want the refund applied to next year's estimated taxes?
  • Did you make any estimated payments toward your current year income taxes?
  • Do you want to have any refund or balance due directly deposited or withdrawn?
  • Are you a qualified performing artist?
  • Are you a member of the clergy?
  • Are you a fee-based state or local government official?

Ask yourself these drill down questions:

Health Care Information

  • Did any member of your household have healthcare coverage through the Marketplace?
  • Did you receive any distributions from a Health Savings Account (HSA), Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage, MSA during the year?

Other Income, Purchases, Sales, and Debt Information

  • Did you receive any tips not reported to your employer?
  • Did you receive any disability income during the year?
  • Did you cash any U.S. savings bonds during the year?
  • Did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currencies?
  • Did you receive any other income not provided with this organizer?
  • Did you start a new business or purchase any rental property during the year?
  • Did you sell an existing business, rental property, or other property during the year?
  • Did you purchase any business assets or convert any assets to business use?
  • Did you purchase any gasoline, diesel, or special fuels for non-highway business use?
  • Did you buy or sell any stocks, bonds, or other investments during the year?
  • Did you sell a principal residence during the year?
  • Did you have a principal residence or a piece of real property foreclosed on during the year?
  • Did you abandon a principal residence or a piece of real property during the year?
  • Did you refinance your principal home or second home or take out a home equity loan during the year?
  • Did you receive any principal or interest during this year from property sold in prior years?
  • Did you rent out your home or use it for business?
  • Did you sell, exchange, or purchase any real estate during the year?
  • Did you acquire a new or additional interest in a partnership or S corporation?
  • Did you have any debts canceled or forgiven this year?
  • Does anyone owe you money that has become uncollectible?
  • Did you purchase a new hybrid, alternative motor, or electric motor energy-efficient vehicle during the year?

Itemized Deduction Information

  • Did you pay out-of-pocket medical or dental expenses (premiums, prescriptions, mileage, etc.) during the year?
  • Did you pay any long-term care premiums for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent during the year?
  • Did you receive any state or local income tax refunds from prior years?
  • Did you make any major purchases (vehicle, boat, etc.) during the year?
  • Did you pay any real estate property taxes or personal taxes during the year?
  • Did you pay mortgage interest during the year?
  • Did you make cash donations to charity during the year?
  • Did you make noncash donations to charity (clothes, furniture, etc.) during the year?
  • Did you donate a boat or vehicle during the year?
  • Did you have gambling winnings or losses during the year?
  • Did you work out of town at any time during the year?
  • Examples:
    • Health insurance premiums (paid by you)
    • Long-term care premiums (you)
    • Long-term care premiums (your spouse)
    • Long-term care premiums (dependents)
    • Mileage driven for medical purposes
    • Medical and dental expenses
    • Doctor, dental, etc
    • Prescription medicines
    • Hospital
    • Insulin
    • Glasses and contacts
    • Hearing aids
    • Miles driven for charitable purposes
    • Braces
    • Medical equipment & supplies
    • Amortizable bond premiums
    • Hospital services
    • Laboratory services
    • Nursing services
    • Impairment-related work expenses
    • Unrecovered pension investments
    • State and local income taxes
    • Loss from other activities from Schedule K-1
    • Sales tax
    • Ordinary loss debt instrument
    • Real estate taxes
    • Personal property taxes
    • Mortgage interest paid (attach Form 1098)
    • Mortgage interest paid to an individual

Retirement Information

  • Did you receive any payments from a pension, profit sharing, or 401(k) plan during the year?
  • Did you make any withdrawals from or contributions to an IRA, Roth, Keogh, SIMPLE, SEP, 401(k), myRA, or other qualified retirement plan during the year?
  • Did you receive any Social Security benefits during the year?

Education Information

  • Did you pay tuition expenses that were required for attending college, university, or vocational school for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent during the year (even if classes were attended in another year)?
  • Did anyone in your household attend a post-secondary school during the year?
  • Did you make a contribution to or receive a distribution from an Education Savings Account or Qualified Tuition Program during the year?
  • Did you pay student loan interest for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent(s) during the year?

Nitty Gritty Questions

  • Did you incur a gain or loss due to damaged or stolen property?
  • Did you pay wages to any household employees (babysitter, nanny, housekeeper, etc.)?
  • Did you make gifts to any one person in excess of $15,000 during the year?
    • Are you splitting the gift with your spouse?
  • Did you make any energy-efficient improvements to your main home during the year?
  • Are you a business owner who paid health insurance premiums for your employees during the year?
  • Did you receive any notices from the IRS or state taxing authority?
  • How do you archive your tax documents?
  • Did you receive income or incur expenses associated with a fantasy sport league?
  • Did you receive income or incur expenses associated with car sharing (e.g., Lyft or Uber)?
  • Did you receive income or incur expenses associated with freelancing (e.g., Upwork or TaskRabbit)?
  • Did you receive income or incur expenses associated with fashion sharing (e.g., Poshmark or thredUP)?
  • Did you receive income or incur expenses associated with crowdfunding (e.g., Kickstarter or Indiegogo)?
  • Did you receive income or incur expenses associated with a short-term rental (e.g., Airbnb or HomeAway)?
  • Do you anticipate your income or withholdings to be different next year?
  • Did you take a distribution from an IRA and give it to an organization eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions?
  • Sale of Capital Assets
    • Date Sales
    • Description of property purchased sold price Cost
    • Description of property:
    • Date acquired
    • Date sold
    • Selling price
    • Mortgages assumed
    • Cost of property sold
    • Depreciation allowed
    • Commissions and expense of sale
    • Interest received
    • Principal payments received
    • Was property sold to a related party?
  • Did you receive, sell, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency at any time during 2019?
  • Scholarships or grants not reported on Form W-2
  • State income tax refund (retrieve Forms 1099-G)
  • Divorce or separation date Amount
  • ABLE distributions
  • Contributions made to a Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Contributions made to a Self-Employed Pension plan (SEP)
  • Payments made for Self-Employed Health Insurance
  • Alimony
  • Contributions made to a Roth IRA
  • Interest paid on a student loan

Self Employed Questions - Profit or Loss from Business

  • Business name Employer ID number
  • Professional product or service
  • Business address, city, state, ZIP
  • Federal Employer Tax ID Number
  • Was this business started or acquired during 2019?
  • Were payments of $600 or more paid to an individual who is not your employee for services provided for this business?
  • Was this business disposed of during 2019?
  • Income
    • Gross receipts or sales
    • Other income
    • Returns & allowances
  • Expenses
    • Advertising expenses
    • Travel expenses
    • Car & truck expenses
    • Total meals
    • Commissions & fees
    • Utilities
    • Contract labor Wages
    • Depletion
    • Other expenses
    • Employee benefit programs
    • Insurance (other than health)
    • Interest - mortgage
    • Interest - other
    • Legal & professional services
    • Office expenses
    • Pension & profit sharing plans
    • Rent or lease (vehicles, machinery, & equipment)
    • Rent (other business property)
    • Repairs & maintenance
    • Supplies
    • Taxes & licenses
    • Inventory at beginning of year Materials & supplies
    • Purchases
    • Other costs
    • Cost of personal use items Inventory at end of year
    • Cost of labor There was a change in inventory method

Income or Loss from Rental Real Estate & Royalties

  • Property description
  • Address, city, state, ZIP
  • Single family residence Vacation / short-term rental Land Self-rental
  • Multi-family residence Commercial Royalties Other
  • Number of days property was rented Number of days property was used for personal use?
  • If the rental is a multi-dwelling unit and you occupied part of the unit, enter the percentage you occupied - be sure to apportion.
  • Is this property your main home or second home?
  • Was this property disposed of during the tax year?
  • Was this property owned as a qualified joint venture?
  • Rental Expenses
    • Advertising
    • Auto & travel
    • Cleaning & maintenance
    • Commissions
    • Insurance expenses that apply to the entire property.
    • Legal & professional fees
    • Management fees expenses that pertain ONLY to the rental portion of the property.
    • Mortgage interest
    • Other interest
    • Repairs
    • Supplies
    • Taxes
    • Utilities

Foreign Account Questions

  • Did you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a financial account or asset located in a foreign country?
  • Did you receive a distribution from, or were you a grantor of, or transferor to, a foreign trust?
  • Did you have any income from, or pay taxes to, a foreign country?
  • Did you own property in a foreign country?
  • Did the aggregate value of your foreign accounts exceed $10,000 at any time during the year?

Profit or Loss from Farming - Schedule F

  • Principal product Employer ID number?
  • Was this farm disposed of during the tax year?
  • Were payments of $600 or more paid to an individual who is not your employee for services provided for this farm?
  • Did you file IRS Forms 1099 for the individual farm hands?
  • Sale of livestock / other items
  • Cost of items bought for resale
    • Beginning inventory for accrual method of accounting
    • Sale of products you raised
    • Ending inventory for accrual method of accounting
  • Total cooperative distributions
  • Did you use unit-livestock-price or farm-price inventory method?
  • Total agricultural payments
  • Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) loans:
    • CCC loans reported
    • CCC loans forfeited
    • Crop insurance proceeds:
    • Amount received in tax year?
    • You elect to defer to next tax year?
    • Amount deferred from previous tax year?
  • Car & truck expenses Repairs & maintenance
  • Chemicals Seeds & plants purchased
  • Conservation expenses Storage & warehousing
  • Custom hire (machine work) Supplies purchased
  • Employee benefit programs
  • Taxes
  • Feed purchased
  • Utilities
  • Fertilizers & lime
  • Veterinary
  • Breeding
  • Medicine
  • Freight & trucking Other expenses
  • Gasoline, fuel, & oil
  • Insurance (other than health)
  • Interest - mortgage (paid to banks, etc.)
  • Interest - other
  • Non-W-2 labor hired
  • W-2 wages paid
  • Pension & profit-sharing plans
  • Rent - vehicles, machinery, & equipment
  • Rent - other (land, animals, etc.)

Business use of the Home

  • What is the total square footage of your home that was used regularly and exclusively for business?
  • What is the total square footage of your home?
  • For daycare facilities not used exclusively for business, complete the following questions
    • How many days during the year was the area used?
    • How many hours per day was the area used?
    • Was the daycare facility was in operation for the entire year?
  • Mortgage interest?
  • Real estate taxes?
  • Insurance
  • Rent
  • Repairs & maintenance
  • Utilities
  • Other expenses

For more on this please contact me.

John R. Dundon, EA [720-234-1177, John@JohnRDundon.com]. John is a lifelong student of the US Tax Code; enrolled with the United States Treasury Department to practice before the IRS (Enrolled Agent # 00085353); under contract with the IRS as a Certified Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Acceptance Agent; regulated under USC 31 Section 330 & USC 26 Section 7525a.3.A; governed under US Treasury Cir. 230.

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