29 Sep 23

Ready for Tax Season? Here’s Your 2022 Tax Checklist

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Last Updated on: 30th September 2023, 09:03 am

Ready for Tax Season? Here’s Your 2022 Tax Checklist

It’s that time of year again–tax season! As we head into 2023, it’s time to start gathering all of your tax documents and getting organized so you can file your 2022 taxes accurately and on time. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this handy tax checklist to help make tax prep as smooth as possible. Keep reading for tips on what you’ll need to file your taxes this year.

Personal Information

First things first, gather personal information for yourself, your spouse if filing jointly, and any dependents you plan to claim on your return. This includes full legal names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and current address. You’ll need this info to complete your basic tax forms.

Tax Forms

Next up, collect any tax forms you receive from your employers, banks, investment firms, or other institutions. These include:

  • W-2 forms from all employers
  • 1099 forms reporting income from side jobs, interest, dividends, retirement plan distributions, unemployment, and Social Security
  • 1098 forms reporting mortgage interest, student loan interest, and tuition payments

Keep an eye on your mailbox between late January and early March, as most of these should arrive by law no later than January 31. Make sure to request any missing forms ASAP.

Income Records

In addition to tax forms, gather any records related to your income for 2022. This includes pay stubs, bank statements, invoices, and receipts for:

  • Wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, commissions
  • Self-employment or side job income
  • Interest income
  • Dividend income
  • State/local tax refunds
  • Alimony received
  • Unemployment income
  • Social Security benefits
  • Pension or retirement plan distributions
  • Cryptocurrency transactions

These records help support the income numbers that will transfer over to your tax return.

Deduction Records

Now it’s time to gather any documentation related to tax deductions you plan to claim. This includes receipts, statements, canceled checks, and other records for:

  • Home mortgage interest
  • Property taxes
  • Charitable donations
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Child care costs
  • College tuition and fees
  • Student loan interest
  • Teacher classroom expenses
  • IRA contributions
  • Moving expenses
  • Business expenses (if self-employed)

Good record keeping is key to substantiating these write-offs.

Last Year’s Tax Return

Grab a copy of your 2021 tax return so you can double check your filing status, exemptions, deductions, and other info from last year. This helps ensure consistency and identify any changes.

Bank Information

If you want your refund directly deposited or owe taxes and will pay electronically, have your bank account number and routing number handy. You’ll need to provide this when e-filing.

Identity Protection PIN

If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, the IRS may have issued you an Identity Protection PIN. Have this six-digit code available to enter when e-filing.

Estimated Tax Payments

Did you make estimated quarterly tax payments in 2022? Total up what you sent to the IRS and states to report on your return.

Other Documents

Here are some other documents to gather that may impact your tax return:

  • Records of alimony paid or received
  • Jury duty records
  • Gambling or lottery winnings
  • Records of education credits or deductions
  • Records of child’s income (if required to file)
  • Foreign bank account information
  • Records of HSA contributions
  • Records of moving expenses for active duty military

Get Organized

Once you’ve gathered everything on your tax checklist, it’s time to get organized. We recommend creating a folder or binder just for tax documents. File them neatly by category and check items off your list as you add them. This keeps everything in one place and makes tax prep a breeze.

Review Tax Law Changes

Before diving into your return, it’s important to be aware of any tax law changes that may impact you. The tax code frequently changes, and 2022 is no exception. Review these key tax changes to know how your return may be affected:

  • Higher standard deduction amounts – The standard deduction rose to $12,950 for single filers and $25,900 for married joint filers in 2022.
  • Higher Earned Income Tax Credit – The maximum EITC increased for 2022, making more lower income workers eligible for larger credits.
  • Higher IRA contribution limits – Limits rose $1,000 to $6,000 for traditional and Roth IRAs in 2022.
  • Lower medical expense deduction threshold – The threshold dropped back to 7.5% of AGI for 2022 after a temporary increase.
  • Higher gift/estate tax exclusion – The limit rose to $12.06 million per individual in 2022, up from $11.7 million in 2021.

Consult IRS guidance for all of the latest updates.

Get Help If You Need It

Don’t stress if the thought of prepping your own taxes feels overwhelming. Reach out to a trusted tax pro for help filing accurately and maximizing deductions. If you made under $73,000 in 2022, you may also qualify for free tax prep through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

File Electronically

Filing your return electronically is the fastest way to get your refund and avoid delays. The IRS expects 9 out of 10 taxpayers will e-file in 2023. Just make sure to use a secure internet connection if transmitting sensitive info.

Don’t Procrastinate

Mark your calendars—the tax filing deadline for most individuals is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Try to file as early as possible once you have all your documents to get a jump on your refund. Rushing through your taxes at the last minute often leads to mistakes.

Double Check for Accuracy

Before hitting submit, carefully review your entire return for any errors. Make sure names, SSNs, addresses, and bank details are accurate. Also verify your math on incomes, deductions, credits, payments, refunds or balances due. Catching mistakes now prevents processing delays.

Sign Your Return

If e-filing, use your self-selected personal identification number (PIN) to electronically sign your return. For paper returns, sign and date by hand. If married filing jointly, both spouses must sign.

Keep Records

Hold on to copies of your completed return and all supporting documents. The IRS typically has three years to audit after you file, and you may need the paperwork to verify your entries.

Track Your Refund

If you’re expecting a refund, use the IRS Where’s My Refund tool to check the status online. Refunds typically take less than 21 days when filed electronically.

Pay Any Taxes Owed

If you end up owing taxes, file and pay electronically and on time by April 18 to avoid penalties and interest. IRS Direct Pay is a secure, easy payment option.

Amend Mistakes

If you realize you made errors after filing, you can amend your return. Use Form 1040-X and correct the mistakes to get your taxes right.

That covers the key steps and documents needed to tackle your taxes like a pro this year. With this tax checklist in hand, you can gather forms, get organized, collect deductions, file accurately, and hopefully reap a nice refund. Don’t wait, start prepping those 2022 returns now so tax season doesn’t sneak up on you.