Get a jump on your taxes... how to get organized for filing that return!

Mortgage and Lending with Caliber Home Loans 176918

Home & Wealth from April Diehl

PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company


Get a jump on your taxes... 
how to get organized for filing that return!

Nobody takes in more money than the Internal Revenue Service -- and they do it without giving us any pleasure for our efforts! We can't make doing your taxes fun, but we can give you some tips to take the pain out of tax preparation. The key is to do a little advanced planning and organization. And if you know what information you'll need, it will speed up the process of doing your return -- and getting your refund!

Organize your papers and files. It's a good idea to have a system for managing your finances. It doesn't matter if it's simple or sophisticated, just that it's an approach you'll actually use. Many people like a basic three-folder system they keep up with year-round.

* Folder 1-Income: Salary, dividends, earnings, distributions, checking account interest; and don't forget the 1099 Form you got when you redeemed that savings bond. 

* Folder 2-Expenses and Deductions: Make files for major categories like contributions, medical, and business expenses; put in canceled checks, bills, statements and receipts, mortgage statements, investment-related expenses, medical bills, child-care costs, and non-reimbursed business expenses for things like gas, food, and lodging.

* Folder 3-Investments: This can include investment account statements, 1099 Forms, and K-1 Forms for certain trusts or partnerships; ask a CPA or Financial Advisor for advice, as you should with all tax questions..

There are also some easy-to-use software programs. Just go online, search "tax preparation programs" and check out what's available.

Don't procrastinate. Get started now! Putting off preparing your tax return until April 14 is never a good idea. There 's a greater possibility you'll make mistakes. And if you're working with a tax preparer, that person may not have time to complete your return by the deadline. Even if you file for an extension, you'll still have to pay what you owe by April 15 to avoid penalties and interest. And if you're due a refund, you'll have to wait.

Use a professional. If you're overwhelmed just organizing your papers, hire a professional to do your return. This is an especially good idea if your tax situation is the least bit complex, including lots of investments, the purchase or sale of a business, or a 1031 exchange of property that defers capital gains or losses. Ask a CPA or Financial Advisor for advice. 

Get free help from the IRS. Go to and download IRS Publication 17 (2010): Your Federal Income Tax, available in both English and Spanish. This is the authority for answers to lots of tax questions. There's also a toll-free IRS TeleTax service at 800-829-4477 with recorded messages on lots of topics. Any other questions can get answers at the IRS help line: 800-829-1040. 

Search around the IRS website. You'll find a truly mammoth site at It offers forms, instructions, and publications to download; you can find information on tax law, plus answers to frequently asked tax questions. The best way to navigate your way through all this is to click on "Site Map", "Individuals", and then "1040 Central" for a more manageable range of options.

So get started now! And good luck!

Feel free to call or email us about any matters, particularly those relating to home financing or refinancing. We're glad to talk further.... Have a great day!




This e-mail is an advertisement that was sent to you because of your relationship with April Diehl. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice or a commitment to lend. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee of its accuracy. The material contained in the newsletter is the property of PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company and cannot be reproduced for any use without prior written consent. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2010 PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company. Trade/service marks are the property of PlainsCapital Corporation, PlainsCapital Bank, or their respective affiliates and/or subsidiaries. Some products may not be available in all states. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company (NMLS no: 13649) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a state-chartered bank and is an exempt lender in the following states: AK, AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY. Licensed by: AL State Banking Dept.- consumer credit lic no. MC21004; AZ Dept. of Financial Institutions- mortgage banker lic no. BK 0907334; Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act- lender lic no. 4130996; CT Dept. of Banking- lender lic no. ML-13649; D.C. Dept. of Insurance, Securities and Banking- dual authority lic no. MLO13649; IL Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation- lender lic no. MB.6760635; IN Dept. of Financial Institutions- sub lien lender lic no. 11169; ME Dept. of Professional & Financial Regulation- supervised lender lic no. SLM8285; MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing & Regulation- lender lic no. 11058; Massachusetts Division of Banking- lender & broker license nos. MC5404, MC5406, MC5414, MC5450, MC5405; MI Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth- broker/lender lic nos. FR 0010163 and SR 0012527; Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department- lender lic no. 14553-MB; NJ Dept. of Banking and Insurance-lender lic no. 0803658; NM Regulation and Licensing Dept. Financial Institutions Division- lender license no. 01890; ND Dept. of Financial Institutions- money broker lic no. MB101786; RI Division of Banking- lender lic no. 20102678LL and broker lic no. 20102677LB; TX OCCC Reg. Loan License- lic no. 7293; VT Dept. of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration- lender lic no. 6127 and broker lic no. 0964MB; WA Dept. of Financial Institutions-consumer lender lic no. 520-CL-49075. PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. NMLS# 176918

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Mike Reyman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors - Media, PA
Delaware County Real Estate


The best advice that I continue to share is "Get Help".  The IRS can be a horror and they give NO wiggle room for novice mistakes.  Besides the tax code changes often enough that you may not catch something beneficial for years.  Good post.  Sage advice.

Feb 10, 2011 06:27 AM #1
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