Marino on Money: March 22, 2011

Tax day is right around the corner. Are you looking for some ways to make your tax day go a little more smoothly? Here are some last-minute tax tips that may help.

1) Check your work. Countless forms each year are mailed to the IRS without signatures, with incorrect math, or with other, easily identifiable mistakes. Double-check your return carefully before sending it to the IRS. If you notice a mistake later, you can file form 1040-X to amend your return.

2) Remember itemized deductions. Did you remember to keep receipts for all of your charitable contributions from 2010? Don't estimate your charitable giving. The IRS has cracked down in recent years on fraudulent charitable claims. Keep your receipts, track your mileage, and be sure to record and report the deductions correctly.

3) Look for extra credits and deductions. Did you add any energy efficient appliances or utilities to your home? Are you an educator? Do you have children in college? For all of these, you may be eligible for additional deductions or credits often overlooked by taxpayers. Check with your tax professional for details on these opportunities.

With all the resources available, it should be easy to find a few extra deductions this year. As always, review with your tax professional first. Maybe you'll find that tax time isn't as bad as you'd initially expected!

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