Tips To Make Tax Time Easier - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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Tips To Make Tax Time Easier

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Don't wait in line, go on-line! The IRS Web site is a great resource for answers to tax questions that arise during the filing season.  Access 1040 Central at IRS.gov under the "Individuals" tab and discover user-friendly tools that will make completing your 2007 tax return quick and easy.

No matter which form you use, 1040 Central has the links you'll need to file your tax year 2007 federal income tax return.

"Every year, more taxpayers discover the benefits of e-file," said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas.  "More than 5.6 million Texans filed their federal tax returns electronically last year, and that figure is expected to grow."

Whether you use a professional tax preparer authorized by the IRS or do it yourself from a home computer, there are many reasons to consider e-filing your tax return this year.

Fast. No more last minute trips to the Post Office.

Accurate. E-file checks for errors and necessary information, increasing the accuracy of your return and reducing the need for correspondence with the IRS to clarify errors or omissions.

Easy. E-file leads you step-by-step. You can usually file a state tax return at the same time you electronically file your federal return.

Quicker Refunds. Generally, when you use e-file, your refund will be issued in about half the time it would take if you filed a paper return. Those who choose Direct Deposit will get their refund in even less time.

Peace of mind. With e-file, once the return is accepted for processing, the taxpayer is notified electronically, acknowledging the IRS received the return.

Payment options. With e-file, you can file your return early but wait to pay any balance due by the April deadline. You can also pay electronically, using a credit card, electronic funds withdrawal or, in some cases, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

The IRS is again offering eligible taxpayers the opportunity to electronically prepare and file their tax returns for free through Free File, a program offered in partnership between the IRS and private-sector software companies. For information on taxpayer eligibility, access the Free File Web page at IRS.gov.  For more information on e-file, check the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov/efile.

"Good recordkeeping throughout the year saves you time and effort at tax time when organizing and completing your return," Sanford added. "If you hire a paid professional to complete your return, the records you have kept will assist the preparer in quickly and accurately completing your return."

Whether to itemize deductions on your tax return depends on how much you spent on certain expenses last year. Money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes, charitable contributions, casualty losses and miscellaneous deductions can reduce your taxes. If the total amount spent on those categories is more than the standard deduction, you can usually benefit by itemizing.  Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax," available on IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM, is a good source of information about itemizing deductions.

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov.  Don't be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is www.irs.gov.

Sanford stressed that taxpayers should beware of several current e-mail and telephone scams that use the IRS name as a lure. The IRS expects such scams to continue through the end of tax return filing season and beyond.

The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail about tax account matters to individual, business, tax-exempt or other taxpayers.

Source: IRS

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