By Carole Grady
DD 214 Financial Editor
I am sure that you have everything in order to do your taxes this year but, if not, here are some helpful tips.
If you are going to have your return done by a paid preparer please, please do not bring a bag of receipts for him/her to go through. It will cost you more; have everything itemized by category.
Be sure to bring all W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, student loan information, and anything that concerns your taxes.
If you donated clothes and furnishings to a legitimate charity, be sure to have all those items written down and itemized; i.e., five new shirts, daybed, six pairs of shoes, two tennis racquets, etc.
Keep your receipts as back up.
If you are going to do your own return using a computer program, be sure that you know the tax laws, especially if you have investments or have your own business, and file a Schedule C.
The tax laws for travel, entertainment, depreciation, use of home office can be tricky. The money you would pay an experienced tax preparer can save you in the long run.
If you do use a paid preparer be sure that it is not someone who closes down on April 15th and cannot be found until next year. If you get a letter from the federal, state or city governments, you will need to be able to contact the preparer for advice.
I hope all of you have faithfully done your taxes every year and are in Uncle Sam’s good graces. If not, one thing to know is that if you did not file in, for example, 2001, there is no statute of limitations restricting the IRS from added penalties and interest. This only applies to not filing at all, not late filing.
Another bad thing about not filing, if you were due for a refund that year you will not be able to claim it if the return was due more than three years ago. This applies to Earned Income Credit as well.
If you owe this year and you cannot pay the full amount you can request an additional 60-120 more days to pay without a user fee. If you need more time contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 to make installment arrangements. JUST BE SURE TO FILE YOUR RETURN ON TIME!