Day 1: Gather data
Let's start with the name: the income tax. That means you need to gather all your earnings information.
Start with your W-2 wage statements. You should have one for each salaried job you had last year.
Don't forget any 1099 forms. These statements, each with a different suffix, will come from various sources.
You'll get some from employers if you did independent contract work. Others will come from banks and investment companies if you owned financial instruments that paid interest or dividends or you sold a stock or other property.
Are you a gambler? It's not a good idea to take chances with the Internal Revenue Service, so be sure to report any winnings because that money is taxable, too.
Retirees also take note. You might owe the IRS on part of your Social Security.
Even tough economic times are no insulation from the IRS. If you collected unemployment, those payments are taxable. You should have received a Form 1099-G showing the amount of unemployment upon which you'll owe taxes.
Find all these income statements, along with other tax-related documents you received earlier this year. Your tax tasks for the day are done.