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Another Tax Season Is Upon Us!

The deadline for filing your 2011 tax return is April 17. Join me as I offer weekly advice for surviving filing your taxes.

Welcome fellow taxpayers! My name is Jennifer Bellm and I manage the Sunset Hills office. I will be blogging this tax season and beyond about issues affecting your income taxes  I hope to offer tips and advice to help you navigate the maze of the Federal Income Tax Code.  

The 2012 Tax Season is well underway, but don’t panic if you haven’t filed yet.  Taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to file their personal taxes for 2011.  We actually get two extra days this year as the traditional filing deadline of April 15 falls on a Sunday and the District of Columbia observes Emancipation Day on Monday, April 16!

Here are a couple of common questions we get asked around this time of year:

Do I need to file a tax return?

The IRS determines filing requirements based on your filing status, age, income and dependency status. In some cases, it may be beneficial to file a tax return even if you are not required.  

What paperwork do you need to file your federal tax return? 

You will need documents from your sources of income, records of deductible expenses and information about members of your household. Common income documents include W-2s, 1099-MISCs, interest statements (1099-INT), Stock or Dividend reports (1099-B / 1099-DIV), Social Security Statements (SSA-1099).  Possible expense deductions may be student loan interest (1098-E), tuition payments (1098-T), mortgage interest (1098), medical expenses, charitable contributions or property taxes. Check with your tax professional for more details.  

What if I didn’t get a W-2 from my employer?

The first step is to contact your employer and try to get a copy. If you do not receive one by Feb. 14, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for instructions.  Often, you can fill out Form 4852 based on your last paycheck stub. Even if you don’t get a W-2, you must file your taxes by the deadline or apply for an extension.   

How do I choose a tax preparer?

The IRS has published some helpful tips to consider when choosing a tax professional:

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=251962,00.html 

I prepared and filed my tax return myself this year, but did I do them correctly?

Call our office to take advantage of our FREE Second Look Review.  We’ll check your 2011 return for missed deductions and credits to make sure you get the maximum refund you’re entitled to. You also can get a FREE second opinion on returns from the 2008, 2009 and 2010 tax years. Fees apply if you have us prepare a corrected or amended return.  

I hope you have enjoyed my inaugural tax blog posting. Next week we’ll take a closer look at taxable and non-taxable income.  Yes, there are some types of income even the IRS can’t touch!

Contact me with any questions:

jennifer.bellm@tax.hrblock.com

314-849-6200

 

Best, 

Jennifer

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