Take a look at last year's returns in order to kick off this year's filing.
If your CPA or preparer gave you a tax organizer last year, use it as a guide to gather your necessary paperwork.
Last year's filings should also give you an indication of whether you're forgetting valuable deductions or credits as you prepare this year's return.
"Start with your income and cross off the obvious, like W-2s and 1099s," said Debbie J. Freeman, director of tax and financial planning at Peak Financial Advisors in Denver. "Then think about one-off income items like your fantasy football winnings."
Deductions and credits should be next on your list. Here are the deductions people often miss.
Student loan interest: You can deduct the lesser of $2,500 or the amount of interest paid during the year, subject to income phaseouts.
Moving expenses: You moved due to a change in your job and your new workplace is at least 50 miles farther away from your old home versus the distance between your old dwelling and your old workplace.
Property taxes: It's not just your primary home that can qualify, but also your second home and perhaps even your timeshare.
Noncash charitable contributions: Be sure to include your receipts. You'll need to file Form 8283 if your deduction for all noncash gifts over $500.
Contributions to certain tax-advantaged accounts: That includes your health savings account and your individual retirement account.
Miscellaneous deductions: You can claim tax preparation fees, un-reimbursed employee expenses and other costs that exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
Medical deductions: You can deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income for that year. Spoiler alert: Most cosmetic surgeries won't fly.
"Often breaking the task into smaller pieces makes it more manageable," Freeman said.