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Documents You need before you file

Documents You need before you file

Before you start your math, you’ll need a few different items for your calculations, including:

Personal details: Your age, filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household), if you have any dependents and if so, how many and their ages.

Earnings information: Your pretax income, retirement plan contributions, how much you claim in deductions, and taxes you’ve already paid or had withheld so far this year. Some popular deductions include the child tax credit, student loan interest deductions and the home office deduction.

Business expenses: If you work out of your home or have paid for work-related items, you might be able to claim it on your taxes or claim exemptions. Keep in mind that if you are a business owner, business taxes are filed separately or you’ll need to account for that income on your personal return. Be sure to read up on what expenses qualify before filing with itemized business expenses.

Other details: Consider things like medical expenses, donations, interest on your mortgage, student loan interest payments, childcare costs and more. You might also consider that your income puts you in a new tax bracket, which can change how much you get as a refund (and possibly owe money).
Without this information, you might not be able to accurately calculate your 2020 tax refund.