Though the holiday season is a time of year many Oregon residents enjoy, it is quickly followed by a season that many people dread: tax season. Thinking about your taxes can understandably cause you to feel stressed, but you may also look forward to the possibility of obtaining a tax refund that could give you some extra cash for expenses or enjoyable activities.
Whether you are someone who likes to file your taxes early or who tends to wait until the last minute, it is wise to prepare ahead of time. Having several documents on hand in advance could help you have all the needed information to correctly file your taxes when you choose to do so.
Information to have
The government requires a considerable amount of information from your personal life and your professional life in order to file your taxes. In order to prepare, you may want to gather the following documents and information:
- Your federal and state tax returns from the previous year
- Social security numbers for yourself, your spouse, your children and any other dependents
- Your income information on your W-2 or 1099 forms
- Contributions to your retirement account
- Records of significant medical expenses
- Charitable donations
- Educational expenses
- Classroom expenses for teachers
- Mortgage interest
- Property taxes
- State and local taxes
- Information about your withheld income tax, which you can typically find on a W-2
- Records of any estimated taxes paid throughout the year
- Documentation for any tax credits you may have the ability to claim
Depending on your specific situation, you may need additional or fewer documents to ensure that your tax return is complete and correct. You may also have to wait until your employer provides you with certain documentation. Preparing early may help lessen the stress you feel when it comes time to file your tax return, and it may also lessen the likelihood of mistakes due to missing information.
As you prepare for the tax season, you may also want to explore where you can find the right help for your tax preparation and filing. An experienced tax law attorney could help you attend to your tax-related matters in ways other professionals cannot. Many people may not consider going to an attorney for help with such matters, but you may want to keep this option in mind when the time comes to send in your tax information for the year.