Tax Filing -- Helpful Information

By Gray Hall - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It's a new year and that means the start of Tax Season. There are some new policies that go into effect for 2011.

Tax Assistance Center Manger, Jennifer Schulls is preparing for the crowds. "We're just getting geared up, getting all of our forms out, one big thing this year is that tax forms will not be mailed out this year," she said.

Schulls says another good idea for your 2010 returns look for tax breaks like Energy Credits -- and hope fully you've already made charitable donations -- in exchange for a tax receipt. The deadline was the end of December.

Tax preparers say one of the main changes this year is the Social Security Tax -- less will now be taken out. "Normally it's 6.2 of your gross income and this year it will be 4.2 percent so that will be more take home pay," she said.

Another thing to keep in mind if you file Itemized Deductions -- there will be a delay. You won't be able to file until mid or late February because of changes in the 2010 law. The law passed about two weeks ago and now the IRS is working to fix computers to handle the change. Bottom line is that you'll have to wait for your refund.

"There actually was a sales tax deduction that was set to expire December 31, 2009 and that was recently extended through 2010," she said.

As you prepare your taxes, beware of email tax scams. Tax experts say the IRS will never email you regarding your funds. And lastly, you may want to try electronic filing.

Returns are not due until April, but getting a head start will make the process easier. If your are planning on doing your taxes yourself, check the IRS website for some helpful products, including a tax calendar with important deadlines. To contact the IRS call 1-800-829-1040.

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