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Complete Your Tax-Preparation Checklist Easily and Confidently

Cypress Wealth Services

February 2023

Are you ready for tax season? This can be a stressful time of year, but the best way to make it easier on yourself is to be prepared. The simplest way to start is by gathering all important documents you may have received. You’ll also need to look up any deductions or credits you may be eligible for. Taking the time to get organized ahead of time can help relieve the burden of stress when it comes to filing your taxes. We’ve created a handy checklist to help you get all your paperwork ready to go with everything you need to complete your taxes.

Organize Your Personal & Income Information

You’ll start receiving various tax documents virtually or in the mail soon, so instead of letting them sit in a pile on your counter, create an organized system for the following.

Income Information

  • Form W-2: These are issued by employers and show your wages and tax withholdings. They are supposed to be mailed by January 31.
  • Form 1099-MISC: These report income you have received as an independent contractor or freelancer. You should receive one from each person or company that pays you.
  • Form 1099-INT: This form will show any interest you have earned.
  • Form 1099-R: This form reports income received from annuities, IRAs, or pensions.
  • Form 1099-DIV: Any dividend income you earn is reported on this form.
  • Form 1099-B or 1099-S: You will receive these if you have any income from the sale of property or stock.
  • Form 1098: You will get this from your mortgage company reporting the interest that you paid.
  • Form 1098-T: This reports payments of qualified tuition and expenses.
  • Form 1095-A or 1095-C: These forms report your healthcare coverage for the year and your premium tax credit, if applicable.
  • Schedule K-1 (Form 1065, Form 1120S, or Form 1041): This reports income for a partner, a shareholder, or an income beneficiary of an estate or trust. The Schedule K-1 normal deadline can be as late as April 15th.

Income-Reduction Documents

  • Form 1098-E for student loan interest paid, or loan statements for student loans received
  • Form 1098-T for tuition paid or receipts from the institution you or your dependents attend
  • Receipts for any qualifying energy-efficient home improvements
  • Records of IRA contributions made during the year
  • SEP, SIMPLE, and other self-employed pension plan information
  • Records of medical savings account (MSA) contributions
  • Moving expense records
  • Self-employed health insurance payment records
  • Alimony you paid if your divorce was finalized before December 31, 2018

Personal Information

If you want your tax-filing experience to be painless, you’ll also want to make sure that you have all of your and your dependents’ personal information available, such as:

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates
  • Copies of last year’s tax return (helpful but not required)
  • Bank account number and routing number, if you wish to have your refund deposited directly into your account

Gather Documents for Itemization

If you’re planning to itemize your deductions this year, you’ll need records to include your totals and provide proof.

Deductions and Credits

  • Childcare costs: provider’s name, address, tax ID, and the amount paid
  • Education costs: Form 1098-T, education expenses
  • Adoption costs: SSN of the child; records of legal, medical, and transportation costs
  • Form 1098: Mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and points you paid
  • Investment interest expenses
  • Charitable donations: cash amounts and official charity receipts
  • Medical and dental expenses paid
  • Casualty and theft losses: the amount of damage, insurance reimbursements
  • Records/amounts of other miscellaneous tax deductions: union dues; unreimbursed employee expenses (uniforms, supplies, seminars, continuing education, publications, travel, etc.)
  • Records of home business expenses

Taxes Paid

  • State and local income tax
  • Real estate tax
  • Personal property tax

Updates for the 2023 Tax Year

There are some important changes to keep in mind when filing your 2023 tax return. There are several tax credits that will be returning to 2019 levels after being temporarily expanded in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some taxpayers may receive significantly smaller refunds due to these changes.

  • The Child Tax Credit will return to $2,000 per dependent in 2022, down from $3,600 per dependent in 2021.
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit will return to $500 (down from $1,500) for eligible taxpayers with no children.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit will max out at $2,100 in 2022, down from a maximum of $8,000 in 2021.

Stay on Top of Tax Changes

Those lists cover the details of what you’ll need in front of you to thoroughly fill out your tax return. But there are also a few things to think about that could impact how you file, such as any changes that have occurred this year. Did you add another child to your family? Did one of your children start college? Did you start taking withdrawals from a retirement account? All these changes need to be reflected on your tax return but won’t show up on prior returns.

Specifically, you should stay on top of annual changes to retirement plan contribution limits. For the 2023 tax year, you can put up to $6,000 in any type of IRA. If you are over age 50, that amount goes up to $7,000 thanks to the $1,000 catch-up contribution. Annual contribution limits for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and most 457 plans are $20,500. If you are 50 or older, your yearly contribution limit goes up to $27,000. And if you are eligible to contribute to an HSA, you can save $3,650 if you have single medical coverage and $7,300 if you are covered under a qualifying family plan. If you are 55 or older, those limits go up another $1,000. Keep in mind that for IRAs and HSAs, you have until April 18th, 2023, to contribute for the 2022 tax year.

A knowledgeable financial professional can help you understand any tax law changes and how they affect you.

Embrace the Future With Optimism

Many of us would rather not think about filing our taxes, but it’s important to stay organized and on top of it to create the optimistic financial future you want to achieve. Taking the time now to file your 2022 tax return properly and accurately can help increase your deductions and reduce your tax liability. There are plenty of resources available to help you understand the bigger picture of taxes in order to take advantage of all the tax-saving opportunities available to you.

Working with an experienced financial professional is one of the best ways to help you capitalize on every opportunity available to you. At Cypress Wealth Services, our knowledgeable and experienced advisors can help you navigate the complexities of tax planning and develop a financial plan tailored to meet your individual needs and goals. We know taxes are confusing, so we strive to provide a hassle-free experience that will leave you feeling confident and in control of your financial future. Reach out to us to learn more by calling us at 866.888.6563 or contact one of our offices today.


About Cypress Wealth Services

Cypress Wealth Services is an independent RIA firm providing financial planning and investment management to high-net-worth individuals, families, business owners, and institutions. Cypress Wealth Services comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience and qualifications. Cypress Wealth Services serves a broad range of client needs using their experience and expertise to act as a foundation for their client service process. The firm uses The Second Growth, which focuses on efficiently protecting, growing, and transferring the wealth and legacy a person has already built to their loved ones. With financial advisors in Palm Desert, CA, Tustin, CA, Athens, GA, and Anchorage, AK, the firm serves clients across the country with Wealth Management Services, Fiduciary Services, 401(k) Design and Management, Investment Reporting Services, Financial and Retirement Planning, and more. For more information, visit or call 760.834.7250.