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1. Identification

When filing your own taxes, you need to prove that you are, in fact, who you say you are.

These are some forms of ID that will work:

  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Social Security Card
  • Military ID

To claim dependents on your tax return, you will need their Social Security numbers as well as their full names and dates of birth. The next thing you need to bring to the tax preparer’s office is proof of every dime you earned in the tax year. The Internal Revenue Service wants to know where you get your income.

2. Proof of Income

It’s called income tax for a reason. Not only does the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) want to know about every cent you earned at your job, but income from every other source as well: self-employment, hobbies, investments, Social Security benefits, retirement income, sale of real estate and more.

Here is a partial list of the types of income you need to report. Bring along an income statement, pay stub, receipt, or other proof of income for each source:

  • Income from an employer
  • Self-employment income
  • Foreign earned income
  • Rental income
  • Retirement income from an IRA, pension or annuity
  • Social Security benefits
  • Investment income from sale of stock, interest, dividends, etc.
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Gambling earnings
  • Alimony
  • State tax refunds
  • Royalties
  • Prizes and awards

3. Proof of Expenses

The biggest deductions often come in the form of business expenses. The qualifications for a business expense are flexible enough that a creative accountant can pile up some serious deductions.

Here’s a partial list of all of the expenses that qualify for itemized deductions. You will need receipts or other proof to claim each deduction:

  • Self-employment expenses (home office, gas mileage, equipment, etc.)
  • Business expenses (travel, gas mileage, client meals, etc.)
  • Education expenses (that directly relate to your job or field)
  • Medical expenses
  • Charitable contributions (cash and non-cash)
  • Mortgage interest
  • IRA contributions
  • State, local and foreign taxes (income tax, real estate tax, property tax, sales tax and qualified vehicle taxes)
  • Union dues
  • Job-hunting expenses
  • Tax preparation fees from previous year

4. Proof of Disaster, Theft or Other Losses

There are special deductions for people who are the victims of theft. For IRS purposes, that includes blackmail, burglary, embezzlement, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, larceny and robbery. To claim a loss from theft, you need to provide proof that you were the owner of the property and when it was taken from you.

5. Payment Method

Bring your bank account information with you to the tax preparer’s office. Instead of mailing you a check, the IRS can refund your money as a direct deposit to your bank account. All of the necessary information—bank name, routing number and account number—can be found on one of your checks.

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Beaton Accounting has a tax service that can help you file all your deductions. If you plan on doing any of these 5 things, don’t forget that income tax rules differ from federal tax rules. Call our experts when you have concerns! For a FREE tax consultation, call TODAY! (621) 921-6894.


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