Begin your 2008 tax prep today

Published 10:44 am Monday, January 12, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
With the start of a new year comes the start of a new tax season and while many people leave it to the professionals to file, there are still steps that need to be taken by everyone in preparation.
Bobby Davis, senior partner at Robert R. Davis and Company PC, said it’s never too early to begin tax preparation.
Jackie Darby, franchise owner of H&R Block in Atmore, said the IRS will begin accepting electronically filed returns on Jan. 16.
Darby said that according to IRS Publication 1345, Chapter 3 authorized IRS e-file providers are prohibited from submitting electronic returns to the IRS prior to the receipt of all Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R returns from the taxpayer.
Darby said it is important to wait to file until you are sure you have all of your W2 and income tax information or else you will have to do an amended W2 return later.
Davis said that if someone does not submit the proper forms, it will trigger an alert to the government through a document matching program, where they match employers and employees paperwork.
Davis also gave advice on one common tax misconception.
Darby said that there are some changes to taxes this year, the biggest thing being property tax deduction.
Darby also offered a reminder of certain forms to get for filing.
Medical and dental expenses are also itemized deductions and those with a small business or rental property should get income and rental figures.
Darby said that there is also relief for those who have been affected by the poor economy.
The Earned Income Credit can add up to thousands of dollars for those eligible, according to Michael Thornton, the volunteer community champion of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in Escambia County, Fla.
Thornton added that those who may not have filed in the past few years, should not be scared to because more than likely if they are a low income earner, they are due a return.
VITA will be holding a volunteer staffed event at Cordova Mall in Pensacola, Fla. The event will offer free tax services; free tips on financial management, household budgets, repairing credit and savings; IRS Money Smart workshops and local financial experts.
To find out if you qualify call (850) 595-5905 or 1-800-829-1040 if you live elsewhere.Those who do not live in Escambia County, Fla. are also invited to attend.
For other information regarding tax preparation, contact a professional such as Davis or Darby, or visit the IRS Web site at The site offers filing tips, as well as information on tax changes for the 2008 year and offers a link to set up direct deposit for refunds.

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