I do not get excited about my taxes because of a possible refund. In fact if I do get a refund it is really very small, meaning that the government did NOT get to hold on to my cash for a whole year.
In fact most of the time I end up having to pay a small amount and that is quite fine with me. I have been waiting on my documents to come in so that I can file as soon as possible and was just told by the HR department that they would be mailing out our W2 forms in the next couple of days.
When you get ready to do your taxes there are a few documents that you will need to get ready and some of the most important ones are:
The W2 forms will come from your employer if you work for someone and should be a total of what you got paid for the year. It will also show your deductions for taxes and Social Security etc. for the year.
You may also receive a 1099 if you have received interest on savings or checking accounts and these amounts have already been reported, so there is no reason to think you can avoid filing them with your paperwork.
1099s are also issued if you have done any independent contract work and this will also be counted as your income when determining the amount that you will get back or what you will owe.
If you have made any charitable contributions during the year you should receive a statement from the places that you made the donations. These statements may not be on a particular named form but might simply be on the letterhead of the organization. My church sends a letter detailing how much I have contributed over the year because I make my Sunday donations via check. I use this letter as documentation when claiming my taxes, in case I should ever get an audit.
Of course there are many more documents that you will need if your taxes are more complicated but generally most of the people I know will only need these forms to get everything done.
I am waiting on my W2 right now so that I can begin the process online and I say happy tax prep to you all!