The Top 10 Things for 18-25 Year-olds to Know About Taxes
6) What Paperwork Do I Need In Order to File My Return?
No matter how many commercials you see, you can’t file your tax return with just your pay stub. Trust me on this. Don’t try it. You need, at the very least, your Form W-2 (which must be provided to you by your employer before January 31st).
If you have any savings accounts, you’ll need a 1099-INT from your bank. This will tell you the interest you earned (which is taxable). You can also get this info on your year end bank statement.
If you paid interest on a student loan you’ll receive a 1098-E that shows the amount of interest paid (use this to deduct and save some cash!).
If you paid tuition for courses during the year, you’ll receive a 1098-T.
If you received unemployment income, you’ll get a 1099-G (yes, unfortunately, unemployment income is taxable).
Before you sit down to complete your return, try to have these forms with you (if you need them all). It’ll make your life a lot easier and you’ll get done a lot faster. Look at it like an open book test. You don’t have to have it all memorized before, but the more info you have in front of you, the easier it’ll be.