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OFFICE FOR STUDENT MONEY MANAGEMENT

Free Income Tax Preparation Information and Checklist

piggy bank on booksAccess free tax preparation software here. This website is the result of a national partnership between the United Way and the IRS. Households/individuals with annual income of $58,000 or less will be able to prepare, file and print their federal and up to three state tax returns (if needed) at no cost. The online tax preparation software allows you to save a partial tax return so you can come back later to finish.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): For students who plan to enroll in fall 2014, Federal income taxes for your 2013 income must be filed before you can complete your FAFSA for 2014. 

The list below contains documents that are typically needed to prepare an income tax return. 


Wage and income information.

  1. W-2 form or each job and every person in the household. This is the form from an employer with your name, wages, salary, tips, and other tax information such as amounts withheld.
  2. Any 1098 and 1099 forms. These are for payments from unemployment, social security, financial aid/education expenses, health care reimbursement, pensions, disability, state tax refund, contract work, gambling winnings and other payments reported to the IRS. If you received alimony, you will need the amount received and the payer’s SSN.
  3. Income/Interest Statements from banks and investments. The forms normally used to report this income are named 1099-INT, 1099-B or 1099-DIV. Your bank may just send a letter with this information, or it may be available on your bank’s website.
  4. Bank account numbers. Your account number and the routing number from your bank or credit union will be needed for a refund to be directly deposited to your account. A voided check will have this information on it.
  5. Last year’s tax return. This is important for electronic filing. The adjusted gross income from last year’s return can be used as a PIN to sign this year’s return. You may also be able to access a PIN here. You will receive a refund several weeks faster with electronic tax filing and direct deposit.

Information for you and everyone in your household.

  1. Name and taxpayer number exactly as they appear on the Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification letter (ITIN) for you and your dependents. It is very important to know if you are being claimed as a dependent on someone else’s, like your parents’, tax return. If this is done incorrectly, both your parents’ and your own tax return could be significantly delayed.
  2. Birth Dates for you and everyone in your household.
  3. Current address (it may be different than the addresses listed on other documents)

If any of the following topics fit your situation, these documents can help you reduce taxes or increase refund.

  1. Childcare expenses. You need the name, address, Tax ID or Social Security Number of the childcare provider.
  2. Business expenses and assets. If you are self-employed or have a small business.
  3. College financial information. Loan, scholarship, and expenses should be reported on a Form 1098-T or 1098-E.
  4. Educator expenses. This is for people teaching K-12 for school supplies and other material used in class.
  5. Charitable donations. List of contribution amounts and who they went to. Receipts for amounts over $250.
  6. Renters. Amount you paid in rent.
  7. Home owners. Mortgage interest and real estate taxes -- Form 1098 or real estate tax receipt.
  8. Retirement/IRA accounts. Amounts contributed and total IRA value as of December 2012.

You should print a copy of your federal and state tax returns to keep for your records. You should save tax returns and information used to prepare your taxes for seven years. In most cases, having your tax return from this year makes it easier for you to prepare and file your taxes next year.


Call Gretchen Holthaus at the Office for Student Money Management (OSMM) in 115 Neff Hall, Wichita State University at 316-978-3254 for more information.