Tax Season Is Here: See the 5 Forms You’ll Need to Get Your Refund

Learn about Form 1040 and other common federal income tax forms.

Tax season is here, and if you’re looking forward to a big refund, you probably want to get your return filed as early as possible. Thanks to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, there have been changes and updates so be sure you have everything in order before doing your taxes. Here are all the documents you’ll need to file your return and get that tax refund.

Form 1040

If you have a simple return and are used to filling out Form 1040-EZ or Form 1040-A, you might be surprised to find that you now need to file Form 1040. All three forms have been consolidated into the Form 1040. But don’t be alarmed — the new Form 1040 is shorter and easier to use. Those with more complex returns will add additional schedules as needed.

Find Out: How to File Taxes Early — and Get Your Return Faster

W-2 Form

Your employer should’ve provide you with a W-2 form by the end of January. This forms tells you how much money you made last year, and how much was withheld for federal and state taxes, Social Security and Medicare. You’ll need all these numbers to complete your taxes.

1099 Forms

If you received income from somewhere else besides your employer, you’ll get a 1099 form. These forms can be issued by your bank or broker for interest or dividends you earned, from Social Security or your IRA custodian for retirement income you received, for gains from stock or real estate sales or for money distributed from a health savings account. Self-employed workers will use the 1099-MISC form.

A Step-By-Step Guide: How to File Self-Employment Taxes

1098 Forms

If you paid interest on a mortgage or on a student loan, paid college tuition or donated a vehicle, you should get a 1098 form. Your mortgage lender will send a 1098 so you can deduct the interest paid on your mortgage or home equity loan. If you paid student loan interest, you’ll get a 1098-E, and if you paid tuition you’ll get a 1098-T so you might qualify for education credits.

Related: New Homeowners, Here’s What You Need to Know for Your Taxes

Last Year’s Return

Having last year’s tax return handy will help you file this year. It’s common to have the same kinds of deductions each year, so if you can see what you did last year it might help speed the process. However, keep in mind that the standard deductions nearly doubled in 2018.

Other Tax Forms and Records

It’s a good idea to have access to your bank and credit card statements for the year, because you might be able to deduct some of the items you purchased. If you had health insurance from the Healthcare Marketplace — aka Obamacare — you will get a Form 1095-A, which you will need when you file. If you needed other forms last year, you might need those forms again.

Tax time is never fun, but being prepared by having the right documents handy will make that task go more quickly, so you can get that refund sooner.

Check out the guide to finding out when you can expect your tax refund.

More on Taxes

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