Your 2018 Tax Document Checklist

January 12, 2018 : Allie Freeland

January is the time of new beginnings – starting a year with a blank slate, setting (and keeping) new resolutions, and getting prepared for the year ahead. Oh, and taxes…

While you may not be a typical early filer, it is in your favor to start preparing your 2017 tax documents now. In fact, getting started on your taxes early has some great benefits, like:

  • You avoid the stress of last-minute filing.
  • You leave the appropriate time to gather documents to make sure you claim all credits and deductions you are entitled to.
  • You have an opportunity to claim your tax refund sooner.

If you have time to spare during this month, get organized! Dig through those stacks of receipts and documents laying around the house and get your “ducks in a row”.

This is easier said than done, right? Well, no, not with the right tools. Here is an easy-to-follow list of documents you’ll need to file your taxes this year. If you need a refresher or are just getting started with your tax document organization, here’s an overview of what is needed for your 2018 tax filing:

Personal Information

Employee Information

  • W-2 Forms for 2017

Childcare Expenses

  • Fees paid to a licensed day care center or family day care for care of an infant or preschooler.
  • Wages paid to a babysitter.

Charitable Contributions

  • Cash amounts donated to houses of worship, schools, other charitable organizations
  • Records of non-cash charitable donations
  • Mileage driven for charitable purposes

Medical Expenses

  • Total amount paid for healthcare insurance and expenses; along with itemized receipts
  • Health Insurance
    • Form 1095-A if you enrolled in an insurance plan through the Marketplace
    • Form 1095-B and/or 1095-C if you had insurance coverage through any other source
  • Marketplace exemption certificate (ECN) if you applied for and received an exemption from the Marketplace

Self-Employment Information

  • Form 1099-MISC
  • Schedule K-1
  • Income records to verify amounts paid if not reported on a 1099-MISC
  • Records of all expenses paid in 2017 related to your self-employment business
  • Business-use asset information (cost, date placed in service, etc.) for depreciation purposes
  • Home office expenses

Retirement Information

  • Total amount you contributed for 2017
  • Total value of your retirement accounts as of Dec. 31, 2017
  • Pensions, IRA, and other retirement income (Form 1099-R)
  • Social Security income

Rental Income

  • Records of income and expenses paid in 2017
  • Rental asset totals – cost, date placed in service for depreciation determination.

State & Local Taxes or Sales Tax

  • Amount of state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding) or amount of state and local sales tax paid
  • Invoice showing amount of vehicle sales tax paid

Financial Information

  • Your bank account and routing number
  • A list of taxes you paid the previous two years: including property taxes, state and local taxes and any estimated taxes payments you made

Educational Expenses

  • Forms 1098-T from educational institutions
  • Receipts that itemize qualified educational expenses
  • Records of any scholarships or fellowships you received
  • Form 1098-E if you paid student loan interest

Job Expenses

  • Employment related vehicle expenses (tolls, mileage, gas, maintenance, license, property tax, interest expense, parking)
  • Receipts for classroom expenses (for educators in grades K-12)
  • Employment-related expenses (dues, publications, tools, uniform cost and cleaning, travel)
  • Job-hunting expenses
  • Record of moving expenses not reimbursed by employer


Get access to an ultra-helpful printable checklist to help you ensure you’ve got everything covered before you sit down to file with a tax professional or with at-home tax prep software.

Good luck and happy organizing! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, realize that getting organized is often the most difficult step in tax preparation. After you get your tax documents in order, take the next step and start filing!


Related Topics

Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Contributing Editor, H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.

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