Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 20 January 2009 15:01
The April 15 deadline for filing federal and state income taxes is months away. Even so, taxpayers who gather and organize their tax information early can be better able to take advantage of tax credits and free income tax services, a Kansas State University specialist said.
If due a refund, filing early also can speed that refund, said Carol Young, Kansas State University Research and Extension financial management specialist.
She offered these tax tips:
n Start now to organize and categorize receipts.
n Check to see if you qualify for one or more tax credits. For example, working individuals or families who have qualifying children and earn about $37,000 or less, often can receive an Earned Income Tax Credit. Some low-wage individuals without children are eligible, too.
n Free income tax preparation services for low-income and older adults are offered by volunteer organizations in many communities. Such service sites include Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA, Tax Counseling for the Elderly or TCE and the AARP Tax-Aide program.
Some K-State Extension offices also partner with volunteer tax sites to encourage taxpayers to save refunds and "saved" tax preparation fees to build emergency funds.
n If due a sizeable refund, meet with your employer’s human resources agent to adjust your salary withholding to better match your tax liability for
Doing so typically increases take-home pay. Rather than provide the government an interest-free loan by paying excess withholding each month, you can deposit that money in an interest-bearing account.
n File electronically to speed the process (and possible refund) and reduce paperwork.