Friday, March 11, 2011
5 Things to Know... About Tax Time
This week's 5 Things to Know feature is particularly pertinent to mostly everyone around this time of year. As I type this, we have 35 days until April 15. Gross.
Lori Owen, a Fort Thomas resident and CPA, has the low down on which items to look out for if you are choosing to go the "Turbo Tax" route. For me, there are a few things I don't mess with: electrical, plumbing, cars and taxes. Let the professionals have at it.
If you are a brave one, listen to Lori. Without further adieu:
Its tax time and many people prepare their own returns using “do-it-yourself” software. Here are 5 things you should know when preparing your own return:
1. Double check your input for accuracy. If you make a mistake in your social security number, name or birth date (or your dependent’s information) your return will fail to be e-filed and will have to be re-submitted. This will cause a delay in the processing of your return. Be sure that the name on your return matches the name on your social security card. This is especially critical in cases of marriage, divorce, or adoption.
2. Education credits and deductions are very complex. Refer to IRS publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education if you have paid for college expenses for yourself or your dependents. You can get this publication and lots of other useful information at www.irs.gov.
3. If you itemize your deductions, don’t forget to deduct the advalorem taxes you pay on your vehicles, watercraft, trailers, etc. Only the tax portion can be deducted. Renewal fees are not deductible. This information can be found on your vehicle registration form.
4. Consider married filing separately on your Kentucky return. This usually saves taxes and does not require you to file a separate federal return.
5. Consider hiring a CPA to prepare your tax return. Many times the tax savings on missed deductions or credits will more than cover the cost of the preparer’s fees.
Lori Owen is a CPA from Fort Thomas. She is the tax manager at Van Gorder, Walker & Co., Inc. located at 3216 Dixie Highway, Erlanger, KY 41018. Contact Lori at 859-431-0700 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.