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WISE and Healthy Aging: Tax Tips and Recent Changes by the IRS

Filing ones taxes can be complicated and, if one can afford the cost, an ideal time to hire a knowledgeable tax expert. But for those with limited means, tax season can be filled with anxiety. WISE & Healthy Aging, in conjunction with AARP, offers tax return assistance for low income, older adults who need help in filing their taxes. Tax Aide, a free tax service on the Westside, provides trained volunteer counselors to take appointments through April and assist with tax preparation.

According to Barry Seid, volunteer coordinator of the Tax Aide program, gathering the necessary documents is the single biggest obstacle for people. “Some people are very organized with everything they need but others have piles of papers or envelopes that haven’t been opened,” said Barry. “We sometimes need two or three appointments just to get the correct information.”

It is crucial to collect paperwork for 2009 and 2008 whoever does your taxes. These include:

009 Tax forms and booklets; 2008 income tax returns; W-2 forms; Unemployment statements; Social Security benefits form SSA-1099; All 1099 forms (1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, 1099-Misc, 1099-R, etc.); All forms indicating payment of federal income tax; Dependent care provider information (name, employer, ID, SS number); All receipts or canceled checks if itemizing deductions and Social Security numbers for all dependents.

Tax professionals can help minimize your taxes by using new credits and deductions such as Making Work Pay Credit; First Time Homebuyer Credit; New Vehicle Taxes Deduction;

Residential Energy Credits; Earned Income Tax Credit; Education Tax Credit and Unemployment Compensation.

Looking Ahead

Notable changes for 2010 include tax benefits of converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and changes in income limits for investors.

For more information about tax assistance logon to www.wiseandhealthyaging.org or call 310.394.9871

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