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Get organized now to reduce tax-season stress
MADISON, Wis. (1/30/08)--April 15 will be here before you know it. If you haven’t already, pull your tax records together and prepare to file (CUNA Center for Personal Finance). Set up a tax file to reduce stress. If you’re a small-business owner, keep personal and business documentation separate. One way to pull records together: Organize by category (About.com):
* Donations. Include receipts for both cash and noncash deductions. For charitable monetary donations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires proof from your financial institution or written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Clothing and household items must be in good used condition or better. For deductions greater than $500, include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return. * Child care. Include receipts for payments as well as special activities or field trips. * Income. Include your W-2 and 1099s, as well as interest and dividend statements from your financial institution. * Medical. Include receipts for medical out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance. * Real estate. Include your mortgage interest statement and tax assessments. * Miscellaneous receipts. Include receipts for deductions that don’t fit in the other categories.
For more help this tax season, watch the video, “Getting Tax Records Organized,” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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