Tax Preparation Checklist


Preparation is the key to a complete tax return. To help your tax preparer claim the maximum tax credits for you, you should bring all of the below items.

Please note, some items may not apply to some taxpayers. For example, education credits do not apply for families that do not have any members in K-12 schools or higher education.


The following are acceptable documents for identification:

  • Drivers’ license

    Bring your proof of identification for yourself and your spouse for taxes

  • Employer or school ID

  • Passport or visa

  • Military ID

  • State/national identification card

Birth date

Please be ready to provide the birth date of all persons on the tax return.

Social Security card or Individual Tax Identification Number card

Taxpayers must bring a document to verify their social security number (SSN) and/or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for each person listed on the tax return. The following are acceptable source documents:

  • SSN card

  • Prior year tax return with your SSN

  • ITIN card or letter

  • Form SSA-1099 with your SSN

  • IRS or Minnesota Department of Revenue document with your SSN

  • SSA benefit statement or letter with your SSN

ALERT: If SSN card states Not Valid for Employment, then the SSN is not valid for Earned Income Tax Credit.

What is an ITIN?

The IRS issues ITINs to nonresidents and others living in the U.S. who are required to file a tax return but who are not eligible to obtain SSNs. An ITIN is a nine-digit number that begins with the number 9.

Need your W-2 for taxes? It should arrive by Jan. 31, 2013


W-2 forms are issued your employer and states how much you were paid in a year. W-2s for each job worked needs to be brought for tax preparation.

Gambling Winnings (W-2G) - W-2Gs contain information on the amount won or loss from gambling. If the taxpayer itemizes his or her deductions, gambling losses may be deducted.

1099 forms

1099 forms are used to report other sources of income not reported on W-2s, such as interest, dividends, and distributions. Below is a list of common 1099 forms:

  • Acquisition or abandonment of property (1099-A)

  • Sale of stock (1099-B)

  • Cancellation of debt (1099-C)

  • Capital Gains and Dividends (1099-DIV)

  • Unemployment compensation (1099-G)

  • Interest (1099-INT)

  • Merchant Card & Third Party Network Payments, Self-Employment (1099-K)

  • Tribal distributions (1099-MISC, amount in box 3)

  • Sheltered workshop income (1099-MISC, amount in box 3)

  • Self-employment (1099-MISC, amount in box 7)

  • Retirement, annuity, and IRA distributions (1099-R)

  • Railroad retirement benefits, tier 1 or tier 2 (RRB-1099 or RRB-1099-R)

  • Social security benefits (SSA-1099)

Public benefit statementsadult and child

Public benefits are used to calculate certain Minnesota tax credits and refunds.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • General Assistance (GA)

  • Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA)

Health Insurancenoun_project_3815 copy

If you received health insurance through MNSure, bring From 1095-A.

Veterans’ benefits and workers comp

While some veterans’ benefits and workers comp are not taxable income, you may qualify for heating or other credits that you would not otherwise receive because of the exempt filing status.

K-12 educational expensesK12

Expenses for educational material or services for child dependents attending grades K-12 may reduce taxable income or qualify the tax payer to receive a refundable credit.

The taxpayer must save itemized receipts for educational expenses such as school supplies and educational services.

Examples of eligible education expenses include:

  • Pencils, pens, notebooks, calculators

  • Tutors, music lessons, after school academic programs and academic summer camps

  • A computer and software used for educational purposes (up to $200)

Tuition expenses and interestGraduationblue

Tuition and fees paid to a university, college or technical college are reported on Form 1098-T, but can also be reported on a statement from the school. This information helps calculate eligibility for the following credits and adjustments:

  • American Opportunity Tax Credit

  • Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

  • Tuition and Fees Deduction

Interest paid on a student loan is reported on Form 1098-E and helps calculate eligibility for a tax adjustment. The maximum deduction allowed for student loan interest is $2,500.

You worked hard taking care of your family, get tax credits for it!

Child and Dependent Care Credit

If you paid someone to care for your child, spouse, or dependent last year, you may be able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Provide to your tax preparer the care provider’s name, address, Tax ID or Social Security number.

To learn more, click here to visit the IRS website.

Itemized returns can take advantage of donations, medical expenses, and mortgage interest.

Itemized deductions

Itemized deductions allow taxpayers to reduce their taxable income based on specific personal expenses. If the total itemized deductions are greater than the standard deduction, it will result in a lower taxable income and lower tax.

In general, taxpayers benefit from itemizing deductions if they have mortgage interest, very large unreimbursed medical or dental expenses or other large expenses such as charitable contributions.

For charitable donations and medical expenses, the taxpayer will need to provide the amount donated and/or the amount spent on medical expenses. Records of these amounts must be kept available by the taxpayer.

If deducting mortgage interest, the taxpayer must bring Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, which is provided by the lender.

In Minnesota, you can get a refund on renting or owning property by filing a M1PRHomeowner statements: mortgage interest statement (Form 1098), Statement of Property Tax Payable in 2017
Renter statements: Certificate of Rent Paid

Property Taxes

Homeowners and renters may be eligible for a property tax refund. Tax preparers can help determine your eligibility with the below documents.

Homeowners should bring in Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement and their Statement of Property Taxes Payable in 2017.

Renters should bring in their Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) issued by their landlord. The renter should receive the CRP from his/her landlord by or shortly after January 31, 2017.

Note for mobile homeowners:

Mobile homeowners who own their mobile home but rent the land need both the CRP and Statement of Property Taxes Payable. The county typically mails the Statement of Property Taxes Payable to mobile homeowners in June.

Bring if available:

Bringing your direct deposit info and last year's taxes can help you file taxesLast year’s tax return
Direct deposit information: voided check or routing and account number

Additional documents

It is helpful to bring a copy of your tax return from last year to assist with your tax preparation.

Verification of health insurance for each person listed on the return.

When direct deposit is used, refunds arrive quicker in your account than a mailed check. To use direct deposit, you must provide your account and routing numbers for a savings or checking account (a voided check will contain all necessary information).

Pre-paid card users who wish to use direct deposit will need to provide a routing number for the card.

Want to know about the credits you can claim on your federal and state taxes? Check out our handy Claim it! Tax Credit Guide!

Front of Tax Credit Guide