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Now Make sure that you’re ready to file

Here are some key items for taxpayers to review before filing their 2021 return.

Documentation Requirements

Make sure to gather all of the following documents that apply to your tax situation and bring them with you to your appointment. If documents are missing, we will not complete your tax return.

  • Photo ID for taxpayer (and spouse, if filing jointly)
  • Social Security cards (or ITIN letters) and birth dates for everyone on your tax return 
  • Checking, savings, or prepaid card account and routing numbers for direct deposit
  • A copy of your 2019 and 2020 federal tax returns, especially if your income was reduced in 2021 because of lost work/unemployment
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC) from all income sources
  • Form 1099-G for any unemployment compensation received
  • Documentation of any Economic Impact Payments received in 2021, such as Notice 1444-C, Letter 6475, bank statements, or IRS account transcript
  • Documentation of any advance Child Tax Credit received, such as Letter 6419, printout from the Child Tax Credit Portal, or your own records (such as this fillable PDF!)
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax ID number
  • Interest, dividend, or sales transaction statements from banks or investments (Form 1099-INT, Form 1099-DIV, Form 1099-B)
  • Information about any other income or expenses to be included in your tax return, such as self-employment or higher education
  • Form 1095-A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, if you purchased insurance through HealthCare.gov
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state for prior year returns, if applicable

Certain complex tax situations are outside the scope of the VITA program. See the IRS website or our poster at the library for more info. For example, we cannot prepare tax returns with farm income, rental property, or self-employment involving inventory or claiming a home office deduction.

Please be advised that the site operating hours, volunteer availability, and services offered are limited. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Get banked to get ready to direct deposit

Direct deposit gives taxpayers access to their refund faster than a paper check. Those without a bank account can learn here about banks in our community that offer a low-fee checking account with no background check required. Veterans should see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks.

Anyone interested in saving a portion of their refund should consider using or opening a savings account, US Savings Bond, second checking account, or prepaid debit card. Taxpayers who deposit their tax refund into two or more accounts will be automatically eligible to win a prize!

Check on advance Child Tax Credit payments

Families who received advance payments will need to compare the advance Child Tax Credit payments that they received in 2021 with the amount of the Child Tax Credit that they can properly claim on their 2021 tax return.

Taxpayers who received less than the amount for which they’re eligible will claim a credit for the remaining amount of Child Tax Credit on their 2021 tax return. See Reconciling Your Advance Child Tax Credit Payments on Your 2021 Tax Return for more information.

In January 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6419 with the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments taxpayers received in 2021. Keep this and any other IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments with your tax records and bring them with you to your appointment.

Eligible families who did not get monthly advance payments in 2021 can still get a lump-sum payment by claiming the Child Tax Credit when they file a 2021 federal income tax return next year. This includes families who don’t normally need to file a return.

Economic Impact Payments and claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit

Individuals who didn’t qualify for the third Economic Impact Payment or did not receive the full amount may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit based on their 2021 tax information. They’ll need to file a 2021 tax return, even if they don’t usually file, to claim the credit.

Individuals will also need the amount of their third Economic Impact Payment and any Plus-Up Payments received to calculate their correct 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit amount when they file their tax return. Ensuring they use the correct payment amounts will help them avoid a processing delay that may slow their refund.

In early 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6475 that contains the total amount of the third Economic Impact Payment and any Plus-Up Payments received. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about their stimulus payments with other tax records. Individuals can also log in to their IRS.gov Online Account to securely access their Economic Impact Payment amounts.