The Documentation List for Tax Prep

Even though every taxpayer has a unique situation, the information published by the United CPA Association provides consumers with a general list of documents commonly needed. The following are things you should bring to your tax appointment.

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Prior Tax Returns

You are better off bringing the last two to three years of tax returns to your CPA. Not only can they what you’ve claimed or usually filed, but they may also be able to be amended for mistakes or omissions.

Personal Information

You will need the social security numbers of anyone that will be listed on your return, whether spouse or dependent. You will also need documentation associated with dependent care or alimony payments to an ex-spouse.

Income Paperwork

Any income that was earned should have corresponding tax information. The most commons forms of documentation are W-2, 1098, 1099 & schedule K-1 forms. Education scholarships, investment expenses, or profits from property sales are often common.


If you are able to itemize your deductions, you will need a document that lists and summarizes them. Deductions could include casualty or theft losses, charitable giving, mortgage interest, property tax, state tax, or job-related expenses.

Depending on your tax situation, you may need additional documents for your CPA to be thorough in your tax preparation. You will find out what is needed if you schedule a consultation with an accountant.  

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