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What Documents Do You Need to File Your Taxes?

A comprehensive list of common tax documents to gather before you start filing

By Austin Payne


December 18, 2023

Taxes are undeniably one of the most cumbersome aspects of our financial lives, and something almost no one looks forward to — especially when you owe taxes rather than get a refund. 

The good news is we're here to help reduce your burden and make tax filing easier this season. 

We're pleased to introduce to our comprehensive tax document checklist: an overview of any and all documents you might need for your unique tax situations. Review this checklist when you're gearing up to start filing - trust us, it will help to have all your documents gathered and readily available before you click “start filing.”

Things everyone will need

Taxes are a pretty personal thing, and there are many documents you'll need that are unique to your situation. But — there are some basics that everyone will need when it comes time to file. 

  • Social security number or tax ID number

  • Foreign reporting and residency information - if applicable

  • Copy of your previous tax return

  • Routing and account numbers: If you're owed a refund, you’ll need this to receive it by direct deposit. If you owe taxes, you’ll need this to pay your balance. 

Traditional income documentation 

  • W-2: For the overwhelming majority of Americans, their income statements come in the form of a W-2, which is the document used to report wages paid to and taxes withheld from employees. If you had more than one job in 2023, you'll need your W2 from each of those employers. 

Did you do some investing or maybe utilize a high-yield savings account? You may need these.

  • Interest, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV)

  • Income from sales or stock or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)

  • Dates of acquisition and records of your cost or other basis in property you sold (if basis is not reported on 1099-B)

  • Expenses related to your investments

  • Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040-ES)

  • Transactions involving cryptocurrency (Virtual currency)

  • 5498 showing IRA contributions

  • All other 5498 series forms

Self-employed and freelancers 

Being self-employed is a realm of its own when it comes to taxes, and almost always makes your tax situation a bit more complicated than the average filer. But, with a growing share of the labor force engaging in freelance work, this tax situation is becoming more common.

  • 1099, Schedules K-1, income records to verify amounts not reported on 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC

  • Expense records

  • Business-use asset information

  • Office in home information

  • Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040-ES)


Unfortunately, even though you've stopped working, the requirement to report your income and pay taxes on it hasn't changed. Retirees who don't have W2 or business income likely still find themselves with reportable income from their retirement accounts, pensions, annuities, or Social Security benefits. 

  • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)

  • Traditional IRA basis (i.e. amounts you contribute to the IRA that were already taxed)

  • Social security/RRB income: SSA-1099, RRB-1099

Other forms of income

  • Unemployment income: 1099-G

Are you a landlord? 

Unless you're filing under a corporation (LLC, S-Corp, etc.), then rental income is generally taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. However, you'll need to keep your own records of this income, as well as any deductible expenses you might incur. 

  • Records of income and expenses

  • Rental assets information (Cost, date placed in service) for depreciation

  • Record of estimated tax payments made (Form 1040-ES)

Other miscellaneous kinds of income events 

  • Payment card and third party network transactions - 1099K

  • Gambling income (W-2G or records showing income and expense records)

  • Jury duty records

  • Hobby income and expenses

  • Prizes and awards

  • Trust income

  • Royalty income 1099-MISC

  • Any other 1099s received

  • Record of alimony paid/received with ex-spouse's name and SSN

  • State tax refund

For EV owners

EVs are their own enigma of the tax code. Due to the overarching efforts to transition to green energy, those who buy electric vehicles (EVs) are often elligible for certain tax deductions offered as an incentive for their purchase.

  • Electric vehicle information

  • Form 8936 for the EV tax credit

Health and medical

According to the IRS, taxpayers can deduct qualified, unreimbursed medical care expenses exceeding 7.5% of their adjusted gross income. To claim this deduction, you'll need to itemize deductions on IRS Schedule A rather than opting for the standard deduction.

Eligible expenses include payments for preventative care, treatment, surgeries, dental and vision care, visits to psychologists and psychiatrists, prescription medications, and medical travel expenses.

Of course, expenses paid with an FSA or HSA are not deductible as these funds are already tax-advantaged.

If you bought coverage through one of the health insurance marketplaces — you'll need form 1095-A.

  • Amounts paid for healthcare, insurance, and to doctors, dentists, hospitals

  • Amounts paid for qualified insurance premiums if paid outside of the Marketplace or an employer provided plan

If you bought coverage through one of the health insurance marketplaces — you'll need form 1095-A.

Form 1095-A, the Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, is sent by the Marketplace to individuals who enrolled in a qualified health plan through the Marketplace. It provides important details about the insurance coverage, including:

  • Coverage Info: It provides details about the health insurance coverage, including the start and end dates of coverage, the monthly premium amount, and most importantly, the amount of any advance premium tax credit (subsidy) that was paid on behalf of the individual or family

  • Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan (SLCSP): This is used to calculate the premium tax credit. The SLCSP is the cost of the second-lowest-priced silver plan available to the individual in their area.

Form 1095-A is important for those who received APTC to help offset the cost of their plan. It's used when filing taxes to reconcile the amount of APTC received with the actual premium tax credit you're eligible for, and this reconciliation may result in either a refund or an additional tax payment.

Educational expenses

Education expenses are also tax-deductible in certain scenarios – namely, tuition expenses and costs related to them such as interest charges. These deductions come in the form of tax credits like the “American Opportunity Credit” for undergraduate students (and parents), and the “Lifetime Learning Credit” for graduate, non-degree, and vocational students. 

If you're planning to claim either of these credits, here's what you'll need:

  • 1098-T from education institutions

  • Receipts that itemize qualified educational expenses

  • Records of any scholarships or fellowships received

  • 1098-E if you paid student loan interest

Other scenarios

  • K-12 educator expenses

  • Federally declared disaster

If you've made it to the end of this list...

... and gathered the documents that apply to your situation, you're making great progress! The next step is deciding how you would like to file your taxes, and we're here to help.

For those looking for a do-it-yourself tax filing solution, you can file your taxes with us at no additional cost to your Origin membership. We've partnered with Column Tax to bring our members an embedded filing solution backed by the IRS so you can file your taxes where you manage your money. Simply answer a few prompts, upload your W-2, and we'll guide you through the process.

Origin Tax is designed to handle any tax scenario or number of documents with no hidden upsells or fees. To learn more about Origin Tax and get notified when e-filing opens, click here.