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Ask the Experts: Taxes

April 10, 2010

Q: Any last-minute tips for taxpayers filing their taxes just before deadline?

A: Start earlier next year. Gathering paperwork can take time, and starting earlier leaves more time to hunt things down.

Here's a paperwork tip, courtesy of Hannah Cramer, Washington County Commission on Aging deputy director and program director for the COA's tax assistance program.

"Ask your physician's office, pharmacist, dentist and other healthcare providers to provide you with a printout of what you paid in 2009," Cramer wrote. "This saves you having to collect receipts."

Other tips Cramer passed along:

Remember that homeowners can deduct a portion of their property tax whether or not they itemize their deductions.

Plan now for next year. Make it a point to always file your papers in the same place, so you so you can more easily find them before having your taxes prepared.

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Don't assume that just because you didn't have to file last year, you don't have to file this year. Each year, things change in the tax code. You might be missing out on some government benefit if you don't check to see.

COA volunteers who prepare taxes are all registered with RSVP, a national volunteer program for people 55 and older.

-compiled by Chris Copley

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