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De-stressing tax time with organization

tax-forms.jpgIt’s “that time of year” again — tax time. With April 15 as the tax filing deadline for 2007. We have collected the w-2 forms, the 1099s, and the statements on charitable giving, computing our itemized deductions for the year. Our government recognizes charitable contributions and permits 14 cents a mile for volunteers working for charitable and non-profit organizations.

The following guidelines constitute legitimate advice on donations that can save you hundreds of dollars.

If you have a Certified Public Accountant or tax prepare, you can save money by having all your deductions organized and ready ahead of time. Don’t show up with a shoebox of tangled receipts. Preparers often charge by the hour, so do the as much preparation as possible ahead of time.

File as early as possible. This means an early appointment with your preparer. All your paperwork from employers, banks and other sources must by law be in your hands by January 31; this puts control in your hands. There is no reason to wait until April 1 to see your preparer.

I reiterate: collect and sort all receipts and statements if you are going to itemize.

Money Advisor, a monthly bulletin of finance, says “your tax preparer isn’t an auditor, so you don’t have to show him all your receipts for business expenses, charitable contributions and other deductible costs. Instead, bring a list if these items organized by category.” Afterwards, place these documents (and the original receipts) in a safe place where they are readily available in case of an audit.

The goal of the U.S. government and the IRS is make tax preparation less stressful and for us not to pay more than our fair share. Early preparation by you will make the process easier. For more information, read Money Advisor [2.08 pg 6]. Copies are available at the Clarksville Public Library.


Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland, retired, has lived in Clarksville for seven years and holds great pride in his adopted city and its people. His one objection in Tennessee is the Hall law of taxes on dividends and savings. Charles served in the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from 1966-1986, retiring to serve as a United Methodist pastor near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the ARP, Roxy Theater and MCDP. Though retired, he is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. His five grandchildren, ages two to thirteen years, live in Evansville, Indiana. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in Germany and Korea while on active duty.

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