Tax Time Tips for 2006

It’s here again. Tax season. Here are some important tips to get a higher refund and save money on filing.

1) FREE TAX PREPARATION! That’s right, I said free. Check your community for VITA or AARP organizations’ tax sites. Call AARP, usually a toll-free number listed in your phone book, for the nearest tax help location. They feature well-trained volunteers who do tax returns for low to moderate income people. They will not do complicated returns involving a complex business for instance, but art trained to do a schedule CEZ. Even if they don’t actually do your return, they can give you some good advice. You do NOT have to be an AARP member or over the age of 50.

2. There is a telephone tax credit, this year only. This credit is a rebate for federal taxes collected on long distance calls. If you have a telephone, you are eligible for this credit. It’s $30 for one exemption, $40 for two, $50 for three, and $60 for four or more exemptions. Even if you don’t normally file taxes, you may want to this year to get this credit for a refund.

3. If you worked or had any kind of earned income, you may be eligible for an Earned Income Credit. This credit can be fairly hefty, depending on what you earned. Be sure to have any tax preparer check this out for you.

Unless you are pretty knowledgeable about tax laws, it is not recommended that you try to do your own taxes without some help. If you are computer savvy, there are some good software programs you can purchase to do your return. Why pay for software, however, if you can get it done free? If you like to do your own taxes for the fun of it, then volunteer to help others do theirs. Call AARP and volunteer for next year!