What do I need to file my 2015 income tax return? *some items might only apply if you itemize
- all forms that say W-2, 1095, 1099, 1098, Schedule K-1, etc. (interest payments, unemployment, FMLA, etc.)
- records of other income (rental, jury duty, gambling, alimony (paid/received), etc.)
- information on any stocks or other property/investments you sold or bought
- investment expenses (safe deposit box, investment counselor, etc.)
- records of any contributions you made to IRAs or other retirement plans
- records for mortgage interest, real estate and personal property tax, auto registration fees (VLF fee)
- donations made to church, schools, and other organizations
- medical expenses (doctors, dentists, hospitals, etc.)
- childcare and higher education costs
- employment-related expenses (dues, travel, uniform cost and cleaning, etc.)
- job search expenses
- classroom expenses for educators (teachers, counselors, principals)
Should I file using the standard deduction "short form", or itemized deductions "long form"?
- Deductions are expenses the IRS allows you to subtract from your total taxable income.
- The standard deduction assumes you have an “average” amount of tax-deductible expenses, and lumps them into one easy total based on your circumstances. The 2015 standard deduction is $12,600 for married couples filing joint, $6,300 for single or married filing separately, and $9,250 for head of household.
- Itemized deductions is for taxpayers who had more tax-deductible expenses, greater than the standard deduction. Individuals who spend a lot on medical care, mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions or a variety of miscellaneous items generally are better off itemizing. Even purchases might help out, thanks to the deduction for state sales taxes paid.
- So... if you can "beat" your standard deduction by itemizing all (tax-deductible) expenses - itemize!