Tax season can be intimidating, especially for small business owners confused about what they need to file. The fear of an IRS audit can often leave business owners worried they’ll make a mistake, and in turn, they leave money on the table. To help get you started and make this the most productive tax season yet, we are providing you a tax paperwork checklist.

Productive Tax Paperwork Checklist

The IRS did a study a few years ago that computed that the *average* time that it takes to complete a tax return is 22 hours. And obviously, that number varies by the return, but I’m reminded (again) of the blessing that it is to free our clients’ TIME — not to mention the additional deductions we find, the stress we remove, and the security we can provide in knowing that it’s being handled right.

Already, we have many Colorado tax clients who have filed, have received refunds and have written us notes telling us that they’ve never been more pleased with their filing experience. And of course, this makes me happy, as you might imagine. Now, I’ve got something here that we posted towards the beginning of January, but as we move into the depths of March, I thought it would be worth posting again…

Paperwork Checklist

With the increased penalties associated with the ACA in 2017 and all of the other changes every year, filing your taxes on your own is not for the faint of heart — even with nice-looking software on the market which purports to make it easy you.

But that’s what we’re here for. Let us be your easy button.

Below is a list of what you will need during the tax preparation process. Not all of them will apply to you — probably MOST will not. Nonetheless, it’s a useful checklist.

Before you get overwhelmed: yes, this is a long list — but it’s the unfortunate reality of our tax code that it’s not even comprehensive! But these items will cover 95% of our tax clients. ¬†This is to ensure that we can help you keep every dollar you can keep under our tax code.

Even if you aren’t using our cost-effective services this year for some strange reason, feel free to use this list as a handy guide…

Personal Data

  1. Social Security Numbers (including spouse and children)
  2. Child care provider tax I.D. or Social Security Number

Employment & Income Data

  1. W-2 forms for this year
  2. Tax refunds and unemployment compensation: Form 1099-G
  3. Miscellaneous income including rent: Form 1099-MISC
  4. Partnership and trust income
  5. Pensions and annuities
  6. Alimony received
  7. Jury duty pay
  8. Gambling and lottery winnings
  9. Prizes and awards
  10. Scholarships and fellowships
  11. State and local income tax refunds
  12. Unemployment compensation

Health Insurance Information

  1. All 1095-A Forms from marketplace providers (if you purchased insurance through a Marketplace)
  2. Existing plan information (policy numbers, etc.)
  3. If claiming an exemption, your unique Exemption Certificate Number
  4. Records of credits and/or advance payments received from the Premium Tax Credit (if claiming)

Homeowner/Renter Data

  1. Residential address(es) for this year
  2. Mortgage interest: Form 1098
  3. Sale of your home or other real estates: Form 1099-S
  4. Second mortgage interest paid
  5. Real estate taxes paid
  6. Rent paid during tax year
  7. Moving expenses

Financial Assets

  1. Interest income statements: Form 1099-INT & 1099-OID
  2. Dividend income statements: Form 1099-DIV
  3. Proceeds from broker transactions: Form 1099-B
  4. Retirement plan distribution: Form 1099-R
  5. Capital gains or losses

Financial Liabilities

  1. Auto loans and leases (account numbers and car value) if vehicle is used for business
  2. Student loan interest paid
  3. Early withdrawal penalties on CDs and other fixed-time deposits


  1. Personal property tax information
  2. Department of Motor Vehicles fees


  1. Gifts to charity (receipts for any single donations of $250 or more)
  2. Unreimbursed expenses related to volunteer work
  3. Unreimbursed expenses related to your job (travel expenses, entertainment, uniforms, union dues, subscriptions)
  4. Investment expenses
  5. Job-hunting expenses
  6. Education expenses (tuition and fees)
  7. Child care expenses
  8. Medical Savings Accounts
  9. Adoption expenses
  10. Alimony paid
  11. Tax return preparation expenses and fees

Self-Employment Data

  1. Estimated tax vouchers for the current year
  2. Self-employment tax
  3. Self-employment SEP plans
  4. Self-employed health insurance
  5. K-1s on all partnerships
  6. Receipts or documentation for business-related expenses
  7. Farm income

Deduction Documents

  1. State and local income taxes
  2. IRA, Keogh and other retirement plan contributions
  3. Medical expenses
  4. Casualty or theft losses
  5. Other miscellaneous deductions

We’re here to help. Let me know if you have any questions with this tax paperwork checklist or need help filing your taxes in general.


Michael A Hurdle
(720) 828-6218
Tax Time CPAs