Tax Season

I think next week we'll finally get our taxes done. It's not that we've put it off - we've had two different appointments now, but the tax center on post has had some problems, so we've been postponed again.

While we were figuring out our newest appointment, the sergeant in charge of the tax center scheduling book gave me several tips to make our appointment quick, easy and hopefully painless.

1. Bring in the family's personal information. Have every one's social security, driver's license numbers and birth dates. Make a list of all important dates from the past year (marriages, births) and have it ready if you're asked.

2. Make sure you have identification. Bring your driver's license, social security card and military ID.

3. Have documentation handy. If you've gotten married, had a child, purchased a home, gone back to school or made any other life changes, bring all those papers with you.

4. Bring all employment info. Have your W2s and any other documents that relate to your family members' jobs. If you have a home business, call and ask what specifically you'll need to have.

5. Do you have rental property? Collect all your records of income and expenses and rental asset info for depreciation.

6. Gather up your financial paperwork. You may need proof of savings, IRAs and other investments.

7. If you have other income, bring all your documents. You'll need 1099s, unemployment records, tax refunds and health care reimbursements, for example.

8. Itemizing means more documentation. Check with your preparer for specifics about real estate, taxes, tithing, charitable donations and any employment-related expenses.

If you have any questions about what to take with you or have record of, call your tax preparer and ask before you go. It will save time and energy, because you'll have to make more trips to get everything taken care of.

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