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Benefits of filing taxes OR Why should I file taxes?

Benefits of Filing a Tax Return

Get your money back. In some cases, you may get your money back when you file your tax return. For example, if your employer withheld taxes from your paycheck, you may be owed a refund when you file your taxes.

Avoid interest and penalties. You may avoid interest and penalties by filing an accurate tax return on time and paying any tax you owe in the right way before the deadline. Even if you can’t pay, you should file on time or request an extension to avoid owing more money.

Protect your credit. You may avoid having a lien placed against you when you file an accurate tax return on time and pay any tax you owe in the right way before the deadline. Liens can damage your credit score and make it harder for you to get a loan.

Apply for financial aid. An accurate tax return can make it easier to apply for help with education expenses.

Build your Social Security benefit. Claiming your self-employment income on your return ensures that it will be included in your benefit calculation.

Get an accurate picture of your income. When you apply for a loan, lenders will look at your tax return to figure out your interest rate and decide if you can repay. If you file accurate tax returns, you may get a loan with a lower interest rate and better repayment terms.

Get peace of mind. When you file an accurate tax return and pay your taxes on time, you’ll know that you’re doing the right thing to follow the law.


What to Bring to a Tax Appointment (Tax Checklist)

Personal documents

Bring all documents below.

Photo ID

Social Security Cards, Social Security Number verification letters, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number assignment letters for you, your spouse, and any dependents

Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return

Bank account and routing number or a voided check for direct deposit of your refund

2020 and 2021 tax return, if you have them

Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), if you have one


Bring all documents that apply.

Employment Income

W-2 form(s) for all jobs last year (your employer(s) will have sent you this by January 31st)

Self-Employment Income

1099-NEC and/or 1099-K

Records of income not reported on 1099 forms

Records of expenses including receipts, credit statements, etc.

Record of estimated tax payments

Retirement or Disability Benefits

SSA-1099 form for Social Security benefits

1099-R for pension/IRA/annuity income

Unemployment Income

1099-G for unemployment benefits

Other sources of income

1099-G for refund of state/local income taxes

1098-T for scholarships/fellowships

Income or loss from the sale of stocks, bonds, or real estate

Income or loss from rental property

Alimony received

Statements for prizes or lottery/gambling winnings

1099-INT/1099-DIV for Interest and dividend statements from banks

Records for any other income


You may be able to claim tax deductions for some of the expenses you have. These deductions reduce the income you are taxed on. Bring documentation for all of the following expenses you have.

Retirement contributions, including a 401(k) or IRA

State and local taxes you’ve paid

Mortgage statements and property tax bills if you are a homeowner

College tuition (Form 1098-T) and student loan statements (Form 1098-E)

Childcare expenses, including payment records or receipts and provider’s name, address, and federal tax ID number (either their Social Security Number or Employment Identification Number)

Receipts for charitable donations

Medical and dental bills

Records for supplies used as an educator