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Haiti Donations in Early 2010 OK For Claiming On 2009 Returns

Posted by Administrator on Feb-1-2010

The IRS announced a new tax relief for people who contributed to providing earthquake relief in Haiti. It allows contributors to get the tax advantage of the donation for their 2009 claim rather than waiting a year for the benefit.

According to the irs.gov website, only cash contributions made after January 11, 2010 and before March 1, 2010 will qualify. All cash donations made after March 1, 2010 will only be eligible to be claimed for the 2010 tax year.

To gain the benefit, you must itemize your tax deductions using Schedule A. For more information, please visit the IRS website at irs.gov.

Archive for December, 2009

Dec
26

Choosing Someone to Prepare Your Taxes For You

Posted by Administrator

Nowadays, EVERYone wants to prepare your taxes for you. You see temporary kiosks in Wal-Marts, malls and just about any other large area where people shop. There are also Certified Public Accountants or CPAs that want you to hire them to organize your finances and pay your taxes for you. Websites bombard you with ads to buy or use their tax preparation software.

It helps to know what you are getting into and what to avoid. Here are some tips to help you make sure you aren’t a victim this tax season.

  • Check qualifications. Use your smart phone or wait and go home to look up the company name of the tax preparer you may be interested in. Find the small print on their website and read it. Also do searches online to see what other people are saying about them.
  • Find out what the real cost is. Sometimes fees are not mentioned at the beginning of the sale. These are known as hidden fees. Smoke them out!
  • Make sure you will be able to contact your tax preparer later on in case you have a problem, a question, or you are getting audited by the IRS. If you sign your info over to a tranger at a mall, how do you know you will be able to find that person again when their kiosk is gone in mid April?
  • Never sign a blank form. Some tax return preparers do not have your best interest in mind. Signing a blank return means that you are responsible for whatever they add to that signed form. This is just like signing something without reading it or handing a signed blank check to a stranger. Just don’t do it.
  • Make sure the tax preparer signs the form in front of you. They need to sign by law, so if they make a mistake and turn in your return without signing it themselves, your tax refund will be held up until the issue is resolved, which could take a very long time.

Aside from these tips, common sense will help you avoid pitfalls and help youget your refund faster. Remember that the info we provide to the IRS each year is very sensitive peronal information. Be sure you can trust the people you are signing this information over to.