The annual roundup of financial documents is a ritual of hunting and gathering.  Some people just love to gather documents and carefully assemble them into neatly organized binders so their taxes can be prepared.

Unfortunately, that represents exactly 1.835% of the population. 

How can you know what your CPA will ask for during tax time? 

Fortunately, it is predictable what documents are required for taxes regardless of the year.  The following is a detailed listing of documents that will be required to prepare your taxes.

Income Received

Personal Income

  • Form W-2 (Wage Income)
  • 1099-G (Unemployment, State Tax Refund)
  • W-2G (Gambling Winnings)
  • Alimony paid/received with Ex-spouse’s name and SSN

Business Income

  • Income Statement/Profit & Loss
  • All 1099-MISC forms received

Real Estate Forms

  • All Forms 1098 – Mortgage interest paid
  • Settlement Statements from Purchase or Sale (HUD forms)
  • 1099-S (Proceeds from the Sale of Real Estate)
  • Rental Asset Information
  • Date Placed in Service
  • Taxes & insurance paid for each property owned


  • Income & Expense Statement for Business
  • Home Office Square Footage
  • Annual cell phone expense
  • Car mileage trip log (MileIQ report)

Retirement Income

  • 1099-R (Distributions from IRAs, 401(k) plans, and other retirement savings plans)
  • SSA-1099 (Social Security Payments)
  • RRB-1099 (Railroad Retirement Payments)

Investment Income

  • Schedule K-1s (partnerships, trusts, S corporations or estates)
  • 1099-B (Sales of stocks, bonds & other investments)
  • 1099-DIV (Dividends)
  • 1099-INT (Interest Income)
  • 1099-OID (Original Issue Discount on Bonds)
  • 1099-SA (Distributions from Health Savings Account)

Deduction Documents

  • Excise tax for vehicle license & registrations
  • Charitable Contributions
  • Support for cash donated to organizations
  • Support for non-cash contributions
  • 1098-C (charitable contribution of vehicles)
  • Clothing, furniture, etc. (ex – Goodwill receipt)
  • Amounts of miles driven for charitable or medical purposes

Taxes Paid During Tax Year

  • Amount and date of each estimated payment to IRS
  • Amount and date of each estimated payment to state or local agency

Health Insurance

  • 1095-A if enrolled in a Marketplace plan (purchased through the exchange)
  • 1095-B and/or 1095-C if you had insurance coverage through any other source (employer, insurance company, government health plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, etc)
  • Dates of coverage for a Medical Sharing Ministry (for Form 8965)

Other Deductions

  • Healthcare expenses: doctors, dentist, hospitals, long-term care insurance, Medicare D premiums
  • 1098-E (Student Loan Interest)
  • Classroom expenses (public educators K-12)


  • 1098-T (Tuition for Higher Education)
  • Childcare provider, tax ID and annual payment amount per child
  • Contributions to IRAs made outside of employment (Traditional or Roth IRAs)
  • Contributions to HSAs made outside of employment

These are a start to the forms required. As a rule of thumb, if you receive a “numbered” document with a form that appears to be sent to the IRS, your tax preparer will need a copy of it. 

While there are circumstances that will lead to other document requests, providing these documents will impress your tax preparer and lead to less hassle in your tax preparation this year.

Which is worse; gathering documents for your CPA or going to the dentist?