A Productive Suggestion for the Housebound

February 02, 2011

Has the snow got you stuck inside your Chicago home today? Why not make good use of your time and start working on your 2010 tax return?

In April, when it’s beautiful outside, you’ll be glad you spent the Groundhog Day Blizzard snow-in preparing yourself for tax season.

Here are some tips from the Illinois CPA Society:

*Organize: Start getting together all your paperwork, including your 2009 return, W2 forms, interest income statements, charitable donation receipts, and any other receipts you might need. All the forms should have been mailed to you by January 31. Investment houses have until February 15 to provide 1099s.

*Review: Don’t assume all your information is correct. Check all your forms and W2s and verify your personal information, including your name, address and Social Security Number.

*Research: If you are doing your own taxes, you are going to want to get the best return. Visit irs.gov for details on current tax credits and deductions. IRS Publication 17 summarizes 2010 changes and offers guidance on which forms to use and how to file. There’s even a section on “The ‘What ifs’ of an Economic Downturn” that addresses situations like job loss and foreclosure.

*Hire: Whether you find tax preparation overwhelming or feel you’ve have a financially complicated year, it might be time to hire a professional CPA.

You can find a CPA — and more tax tips — on the Illinois CPA Society site at icpas.org.

Categories: Education

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