Checklist [‘tʃeklist]: n. a list of items (names or tasks etc.) to be checked or consulted.

You do not need to answer every question but just provide tax documents applicable to you, additionally provide basic info not covered by tax documents. You can create a Google doc after you enter your link by clicking “+ New”, or create your own simple word or text document and upload it along with tax documents. Please do not imbed tax documents in the checklist info doc.

New in 2022

  • CA residents please provide 1099-MISC for California Middle-Class Tax Refund or the amount.

Are you a resident or nonresident?

  • Were you (or your spouse if married) a citizen, a permanent resident (green card holder), or a professional worker with an H-1B, L1 visa for the entire year of 2022?
  • If you have not been a resident for the current year and the prior year, please list your (and your spouse’s if married) complete visa (status) history in the format shown below:

    • 20XX F1
    • 20XX F1
    • 20XX-01-01 - 20XX-09-30 F1
    • 20XX-10-01 - 20XX-12-31 H1B

and be sure to provide information in the Nonresident section at the end of this checklist.

NB, Special benefit for married couples: if one spouse is a resident at the end of the year 2022, you and your nonresident spouse can elect to file jointly as residents.

What is your filing status?

  • Single
  • Married Filing jointly (MFJ)
  • Married filing separately (MFS)
  • Head of Household (HOH)
  • Qualifier Widow(er) (QW)
  • Not sure, please describe your situation

Personal Information (new client or changed info):

Please provide the following info for the taxpayer (and spouse if filing jointly):

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Pronouns (He/Him/His, She/Her/Hers, They/Them/Theirs)
  • Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Social Security Numbers (or Tax IDs), see ITIN in SPECIAL SITUATION section if no SSN
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Occupation

and for EACH dependent:

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Social Security Numbers (or Tax IDs), see ITIN in SPECIAL SITUATION section if no SSN
  • Relationship (the dependent is your Son/Daughter/Dad/Mom/…?)

Bank information for tax refund or payment only (I do not use it for the filing fee, for new clients or returning clients with changed info)

  • Bank name
  • Bank routing number (as appeared on your checkbook if you use a checking account)
  • Your account number (as appeared on your checkbook if you use a checking account)
  • Your account type (Checking or Savings)
  • Account holder(s) /* If filing separately, the spouse who files for the return must have their name on the account. */

Virtual currency question

At any time during 2022, did you: (a) receive (as a reward, award, or payment for property or services); or (b) sell, exchange, gift, or otherwise dispose of a digital asset (or a financial interest in a digital asset) (Yes/No)?

The following actions do not require a Yes answer:

  • Holding a digital asset in a wallet or account;
  • Transferring a digital asset from one wallet or account you own or control to another wallet or account that you own or control; or
  • Purchasing digital assets using U.S. or other real currency, including through the use of electronic platforms such as PayPal and Venmo.

Last year’s taxes if itemized and other carryover items (new client only)

  • Please provide last year’s return (federal and state)


    answer the following questions (please note the or condition, i.e. if you provide last year’s return then you do not need to answer the following questions, as I can read myself and I prefer that way.

  • If I did not prepare your return and any of the taxpayers itemized last year (nonresidents not from India have to itemize), please list tax owed and paid to, or refund received from EACH of the states in the format below:

    • VA: owed and paid $500
    • DC: refund of $300

    The information is in your last year’s return, the 1099-G the state sent out, or your bank record.

  • Stock unallowed loss, investment interest expense, continued depreciation, etc.
  • Federal and state AGI, and tax liability.

Location info

Please list where you were for the entire year in a format as shown below, accurate to the state or country. Vacation within the US without changing state residency needs not to be listed. You can get your travel history outside the United States from the I94 Website.

  • 01/01/2022 - 05/15/2022 MD
  • 05/16/2022 - 08/15/2022 China
  • 08/16/2022 - 12/31/2022 VA

Residents do not need to list travel outside the United States.

Income and income adjustment

  • W-2 wage forms from ALL employers for the year.
  • Pensions, annuities, retirement plan distributions, rollovers, and conversions (including “backdoor” Roth conversation). A rollover or conversion involves two accounts, the source (where money comes from) and the target (where money goes to). Please provide the following and separate each distribution in its own folder:
    • Distribution from the source on Form 1099-R.
    • Year end balance at the source on Form 5498 or using your own record.
    • Contribution information at the source on Form 5498 if available, or provide date, amount contributed, and year allocated to based your own record.
    • Rollover or conversion information at the target on Form 5498 if available, or provide the target type (IRA, Roth IRA, 401K, Roth 401K, etc) based your own record.

    For example, if you contributed $6,000 to traditional IRA, and converted $6,001 to Roth IRA leaving $0 on the traditional IRA, the four pieces of information would be:

    • Form 1099-R on traditional IRA showing $6,000 distribution.
    • Year end balance at traditional IRA is zero, no form 5498 at the source is available.
    • Contribution information: I contributed $6,000 on April 1, 2023 and allocated to the year 2022, no form 5498 at the source is available.
    • Rollover or coversion information: I converted $6,001 to Roth IRA, no form 5498 at the target is available.
  • Traditional IRA contribution only. Please provide:
    • The date that you contributed or you will contribute (you have until the filing deadline to make contribution).
    • The amount of contribution.
    • The year allocated to.
  • Social Security benefits (SSA-1099).
  • Independent contractor and other miscellaneous income (1099-MISC).
  • Unemployment compensation (1099-G).
  • Schedule K-1 forms for Partnership, S Corporation, and trust income.
  • Alimony received.
  • Jury duty pay.
  • Gambling and lottery winnings.
  • Prizes and awards.
  • Scholarships and fellowships.
  • State and local income tax refunds (1099-G, only you have itemized).


If you have HSA (Health Savings Account), please provide:

  • Is it a “self-only” plan (insurance only covers yourself) or a family plan? i.e. does the insurance cover only yourself or a family member as well?
  • 1099-SA or the amount spent from HSA. Zero is also a meaningful number.
  • All the spending from the HSA was used for medical purposes and not reimbursed.
  • The amount you contributed yourself by depositing a check or making a bank transfer.
  • 5498-SA if you have it (optional).

Financial Assets

Landlord (A person who owns a home and rents it out to others for a fee)

It would be easier to copy the Google sheets with rental expense template and fill it in. The following are two ways to copy the Google sheets:

  1. Copy file to drive
    • Click the spreadsheet.
    • Click File of the Google sheets (not the browser). If it is hidden, click the down arrow (v) to bring it up.
    • Select “Make a copy”.
    • Remove “Copy of “ from “Name”.
    • Select “Folder” to be our shared folder. Click “<” and choose “Shared with me”.
  2. Copy tab to sheets
    • Go to you shared folder.
    • Click “+ New”.
    • Click “Google Sheets”.
    • Click “CREATE AND SHARE”.
    • Replace the name “Untitled spreadsheet” with “rental-expense-v20220725” (which forces the spreadsheet to save).
    • Copy the URL like “…”.
    • Right click the spreadsheet and select “Open Link in New Tab”.
    • Click the down arrow in “Sample” tab, select “Copy to” and “New spreadsheet”.
    • Paste the URL ito “Search in Drive or Paste URL” field.
    • Select the Spreadsheet.
    • Click “Insert”.

On behalf of Google, I am sorry for the convoluted way of copying a file. If you have difficulty, please let me know and I will drop the file to your folder. Please avoid to download the Google sheets or to copy and paste because it will change the format and reduce the functionality.

  • Rent received.
  • Advertising.
  • Home-Owner Association (HOA) fees.
  • Auto and travel (see “Auto expenses for business use” section).
  • Cleaning and maintenance.
  • Commissions.
  • Gardening
  • Home insurance.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
  • Legal and other professional fees (tax preparation fee).
  • Management fees.
  • The mortgage interest paid to banks, etc.
  • Other interests.
  • Painting and decorating.
  • Pest control.
  • Plumbing and electrical.
  • Repairs.
  • Supplies.
  • Taxes.
  • Telephone and internet (provided to tenants).
  • Utilities.
  • FIRST-YEAR RENTAL: Rental starting date (MM/DD/YYYY).
  • FIRST-YEAR RENTAL: Closing document, aka settlement doc, HUD-1, ALTA, which is 2-3 pages with numbers (not words for lawyers).
  • FIRST-YEAR RENTAL: Term of loan (e.g. 15 years, 30 years).
  • FIRST-YEAR RENTAL: Assessment near the rental starting date from the county website.
  • PARTIAL YEAR AND MIXED: Specify expenses for what time period, and for what space (entire house or the rental rooms).

Sale of a primary home

The IRS allows for a tax exclusion of up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of capital gains from the sale of a primary residence under certain conditions as specified in IRC 121.

The conditions are:

  • The property must be the taxpayer’s main home and owned by the taxpayer for at least two of the five years preceding the sale.
  • The exclusion can only be claimed once every two years.

It’s important to note that this exclusion may have limits or not apply in certain situations, such as if the home was used as a rental property, if the taxpayer was involved in a 1031 exchange.

The following documents are needed to give us the rough estimate of the capital gain:

If is over the exclusion amount, then we will need the major improvements (that increase the home value) done during the years to bring down the capital gain.

Homeowner and itemizing items

Provide the information when:

  • You have a large home mortgage payment (more than the standard deduction minus 10,000), or
  • You live in a state which allows state itemized deduction while using the federal standard deduction

    The states that allow separate state itemized deduction:

    • CA
    • DE
    • NY

    The states that do not allow separate state itemized deduction:

    • MD
    • VA

Generally, you itemize expenses if you own a home, or have large deductible items such as donations, medical expenses, and state tax paid.

Filing Status Standard Deduction Amount
Single $12,950
Married Filing Jointly & Surviving Spouse $25,900
Married Filing Separately $12,950
Head of Household $19,400

The itemized deduction items:

  • Mortgage and home equity interests Form 1098. If the borrowed amount exceeds 750K, please provide the ending principal balance if not on the form 1098 already (the beginning balance and loan starting date should be on the form). For mortgage loans with uneven payments, please provide the average balance by adding the outstanding balance of a debt on each month during the taxable year that the debt is secured by a qualified residence, and dividing the sum by the number of months during the taxable year that the residence is a qualified residence, per Reg §1.163-10T.
  • Closing document if you bought or refinanced your home in current year.
  • Real Estate Tax, if it is not on Form 1098, you can get your county’s tax payment history with amounts and dates paid, here is an example from Santa Clara county in California. If you do not own the property for the full year, please upload the closing document as there will be a county tax paid on closing.
  • Energy property based on manufacturer’s certification document.
  • Personal Property Tax (car tax).
    • CA: The vehicle license fee is deductible, use this page to find the vehicle license fee.
    • MA: Vehicle excise tax.
    • VA: Car tax is deductible. If your car is in Fairfax county, use this page to get your car tax. In Fairfax city, use this page.
    • WA: In most major metropolitan areas of Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties of Washington state, Regional Transit Authority tax RTA excise tax which is a line item in car registration is deductible, use this page to find the RTA tax.
  • Gifts to charity (cash and non-cash).
  • Un-reimbursement expenses related to volunteer work.
  • Investment interest (margin interest).
  • After-tax medical expenses above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Healthy, high-income individuals should use pre-tax HSA or MFS.
    • Prescription.
    • Insurance premiums.
    • Medical supplies.
    • Eye exams.
    • Glasses.
    • Contacts.
    • Co-pays.
    • Medical transportation (miles).
    • Long-term care insurance premium up to a maximum based on your age:
      • $450 for ages 40 or under.
      • $850 for ages between 41 to 50
      • $1,690 for ages between 51 to 60
      • $4,520 for ages between 61 to 70
      • $5,640 for ages 71 or over

Other separately accounted expenses

  • Adoption expenses.
  • Alimony paid.
  • Moving expenses (for a military move, and move to following states) if you drove, you can use mileage plus hotel; if you flew, the air ticket.

    The states that allow moving expenses include:

    • CA
    • MA

Child and Dependent Care Expenses

  • Child name
    • Name of the provider.
    • Address of the provider.
    • Tax ID or SSN of the provider.
    • The amount you paid.

Please create a list by child and by care provider, use Google sheet if necessary.

/* Tuition for education does not count as care, but care with incidental education element does. For details, please click IRS Publication 503. */

Education expenses of you or your dependents

  • Tuition and Education fees: 1098-T, if box 1 (payments received) is empty also student account statement or bank transfer showing the amount paid).
  • Student Loan interest: 1098-E.
  • Educator Expense Deduction up to $250 for K-12 teachers.

Self Employed Business

Using the Google Sheets template for self-employment can be a helpful way to guide you through the process. To make a copy of the template, follow these steps:

  • Click the spreadsheet
  • Click File of the Google sheets (not the browser). If it is hidden, click the down arrow (v) to bring it up.
  • Select “Make a copy”.
  • Remove “Copy of “ from “Name”.
  • Select “Folder” to be our shared folder. Click “<” and choose “Shared with me”.

If you provide the business income and expenses manually, here is the list:

  • Business income (1099-NEC and own records).
  • Partnership SE income (Schedules K-1).
  • Employment taxes and other retirement plan contributions.
  • Auto loans and leases if for business use.
  • Auto expenses (see “Auto expenses for business use” section).
  • Entertainment and meals.
  • Job hunting expenses.
  • Lodging.
  • Home office.
  • Professional dues.
  • Union dues.
  • Publications.
  • Research expenses.
  • Safety equipment.
  • Supplies.
  • Telephones.
  • Tools and equipment.
  • Travel.
  • Uniform and cost of cleaning.
  • Internet expenses if for business use.

Auto expenses for business use

Applicable for rental and self-employed only, not for employees. Information needed to claim by mileage (Most people use):

  • Description of the vehicle.
  • Date placed in service.
  • Total mileage.
  • Business mileage.
  • Personal property tax.
  • Car loan interest.

Medical Insurance Documents

Miscellaneous Documents

  • Last year’s federal and state tax returns (helpful but not absolutely required).
  • IRA, KEOGH, and other retirement plan contributions (if self-employed, identify as for self or employees).
  • Records to document casualties or theft losses.
  • Records for any other expenditures that may be deductible.
  • Records for any other revenue for sales of property that may be taxable or reportable.
  • Federal, state, and local estimated income tax paid for the tax year.
  • Employment taxes and other business taxes paid for the tax year.
  • NY and NJ require driver’s license ID, issuing state, expiration date, and issue date, or simply upload images of the front and back of your driver’s license if you have one.

State-specific deductions

  • All states: 529 college savings plan.
  • MA: rent paid: the total amount for the year, name, and address of the landlord.
  • MA: commuter expense (MBTA, E-ZPass).
  • NJ: rent or property tax paid.
  • VA: Long-term insurance premium is a state deduction.

Use tax

Some states impose use tax on items purchased from out-of-state or foreign sellers that would have otherwise been subject to sales tax if purchased within the state. Please provide the total amount of these purchases, as well as the sales or use tax already paid to another state.


ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) applicant (the person who needs ITIN) only:

  • Country of birth:
  • Country of citizenship:
  • Type of US visa:
  • Visa number (red letter on the visa):
  • Visa expiration date (MM/DD/YYYY):
  • Passport issued by:
  • Passport Number:
  • Passport Expiration date (MM/DD/YYYY):
  • Date of entry into the United States (MM/DD/YYYY):
  • The photo page of the applicant’s passport.
  • The visa page of the applicant’s passport.
  • The most recent entry stamp page of the applicant’s passport.
  • The most recent school transcript (For children under 18).


  • Which country are you a citizen of (China, India, or other countries)?
  • If the status ever changed in the current year or a prior year, the date of change (MM/DD/YYYY). For example, “10/01/2022 from F1 to H1B.”
  • How many days (including partial days) have you stayed in the US in 2022, 2021, and 2020 respectively? Do not count days when you were a nonresident with F or J visa. You can get your travel history outside the United States from the I94 Website and use the Days Calculator to compute days between two dates.
  • Is the number of days in the US in 2022 consistent with the location information provided earlier?
  • Have you applied for a green card (i.e. submitted I-140)?
  • Have you received form 1042-S?
  • Does any wage document include a treaty deduction (we cannot deduct twice)?
  • [New client only] Did you file last year? If so, what form was used (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ)?
  • [New client only] In what years have you filed federal taxes claiming US-China tax treaty 20(c)? You do not need to answer the question if you have provided last year’s return.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) / Foreign Tax Credit (FTC)

/* If you have any foreign names or addresses, please provide them in the original language in addition to the English translation. If I am familiar with a standard translation, I will use it. */

  • Of what country are you a citizen/national?
  • Visa in the foreign country, how long does it need to renew?
  • Foreign residency first established (i.e. when did you establish the foreign residency)?
  • Your foreign home address including postal code. Own or rent?
  • Employer’s name.
  • Employer’s foreign address including postal code.
  • Employer’s U.S. address if it has one.
  • Income earned in U.S. dollars, use IRS published conversion rate:
County Currency 1.00 USD in 2022
Australia Dollar 1.442
Canada Dollar 1.301
China Yuan 6.730
Hong Kong Dollar 7.831
India Rupee 78.598
Japan Yen 131.454
  • Do you pay income tax to a foreign country on the foreign earned income? If so, please provide a document showing taxable income and tax paid.
  • List travel history to and from the US in the format below from 01/01/2019 until now.
    • 11/01/2019 - 06/31/2020 in China.
    • 07/01/2020 - 07/15/2022 in the US, earned $0.
    • 07/16/2022 - 02/19/2023 in China.
  • Did you maintain a home in the United States while living abroad?
    • If yes, please provide the address of your home, rented or not, the names of the occupants, and their relationship to you.
  • The latest year you filed foreign earned income exclusion (Form 2555)?
  • Qualified foreign housing expenses:
    • Rent
    • Utilities (except for telephone, TV services, and internet)
    • Personal property insurance (such as homeowner’s or renter’s insurance)
    • Leasing fees
    • Furniture rental
    • Parking rental
    • Repairs
  • Qualified foreign housing expenses do NOT include:
    • Mortgage payments
    • Domestic labor (maids, housekeepers, etc.)
    • Purchased furniture
    • Anything deemed “lavish or extravagant”

Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (aka FBAR, FinCen Form 114, FATCA) and Form 8938

If you meet the reporting requirement, please provide information on EACH of the accounts as follows:

  • Bank name.
  • Type (Bank, Securities, Other - Please specify).
  • Owner if married file jointly (Taxpayer - the person listed first on the tax form, Spouse, or Joint).
  • Address in English including postal code (can use headquarter’s address).
  • Account number.
  • The maximum value of the account during the calendar year in US dollars (not taxable).
  • Interest generated from the account in US dollars (taxable).
  • Dividends generated from the account in US dollars (taxable).

Please convert to U.S. dollars using the end of the calendar year exchange rate and report in U.S. dollars, you can use the Currency Exchange Rates Converter from the Treasury FiscalData. These are the selected exchange rates on 12/31/2022:

US Dollar 1.00 USD
Australia-Dollar 1.471
Canada-Dollar 1.354
China-Renminbi 6.897
Hong Kong-Dollar 7.797
India-Rupee 82.599
Japan-Yen 131.83

A Resident Received a Gift From a Nonresident

When a citizen or resident alien receives a gift1 exceeding $100,000 from a nonresident alien or from a group of related nonresident aliens, they are required to file Form 3520. However, no tax is due on this gift.

If you are the resident, please provide a list of dates and amounts of gifts. For example:

Date Description Amount
12/24/2022 Cash from Santa Claus $80,000
12/25/2022 Cash from Mrs. Claus $80,000
Total   $160,000

1 According to the IRS, a gift is defined as:

Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money’s worth) is not received in return.

If the transaction is not a gift but rather a loan or a movement of your personal funds, then there’s no need to file Form 3520. However, it’s essential to maintain a detailed record of the funds’ source and their intended use in case of inquiries from the “big brother”.

A Resident Given a Gift

If you give a gift of more than the annual exclusion limit of $17,000 (2023), you must file Form 709. However, you do not have to pay gift tax unless your lifetime gifts exceed the lifetime gift tax limit of $12.92 million (2023). This is the total amount of money or property that you can give away during your lifetime without having to pay gift tax.

Please provide:

  • Last filed form 709.
  • Donee’s name.
  • Donne’s address.
  • Relationship to the donor (if any).
  • Description of gift.
  • If the gift was of securities, give CUSIP no.
  • If a closely held entity, give EIN.

I hope this checklist helps you to prepare your tax documents.