Tax Time is Here

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A taxpayer received a strongly worded "second notice" that his taxes were overdue. Hastening to the collector's office, he paid his bill, saying apologetically that he had overlooked the first notice. "Oh," confided in the collector with a smile, "We don't send out first notices. We have found that the second notices are more effective." (

Like it or not, you have to pay your taxes. The trouble is that understanding taxation requires more than having a brilliant mind. Even Albert Einstein admitted, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."

For millions of last minute taxpayers, the day of truth is just around the corner. The pressure of getting our taxes done on time can be very overwhelming. This year can be different. By following just a few tips you can be headache-free this tax season.

  1. Write down all potential tax deductions throughout the year. Ask your tax professional for a tax-record keeping book. This will help you keep track of your information.
  2. Keep your monthly financial statement from your Banks and Credit Unions.
  3. If you are planning on a life event such as having a child, be sure to alter your tax withholding, even before the child is born.
  4. Make your tax-deductible payments and donations early. By acting early, you will be able to claim them this year and get the extra deductions.
  5. Make sure you are up-to-date on the IRS’s rules; you don’t want to be audited.
  6. Evaluate your investments. If you have a poor performing investment you may want to sell it before January 1 and claim your capital loss. Information on investments should be kept for as long as you own the investment, plus the three years it is needed to support the tax return on which it is reported.
  7. Round your money amounts to the nearest dollar. This will make your calculations easier and it reduces the possibilities for errors.
  8. Use the forms from last year as a guide for filling out this year’s forms. Be sure to check for changes in your deductions and exceptions.
  9. Don’t procrastinate. File your taxes early and get them mailed before April 14. If you know you are going to be late, be sure to get and extension form from the IRS.
  10. Keep tax returns and supporting materials for at least three years, the time the IRS has to begin an audit. However, the IRS can begin an audit within six years if there has been substantial income omitted. There is no IRS time limit for fraud.

John F. Lekel said, “The term "tax humor" is no doubt an oxymoron to many people; to the more cynical, it is an apt description of the entire tax code.”  To help lighten up the monotony of the tax season, here are a few tax jokes:

Called in for an audit, Mr. Briggs was confronted by a surly IRS agent. "It says here, Mr. Briggs, that you are a bachelor; yet you claim a dependent son. Surely this must be a mistake." Looking him straight in the eye, Mr. Briggs replied, "Yup, it surely was." (

What's the difference between an optimist, a pessimist, and an accountant?
To the optimist, the glass of water is half full. To the pessimist, the glass of water is half empty.
To the accountant, the glass of water is twice as big as it needs to be. (

An Italian businessman on his deathbed called his good friend and said, "Luigi, I want you to promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremate

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