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OH Expert offers Tax Tips Now to Ease the Burden Later

October 26, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The holidays might be in the forefront of many Ohioans' minds, but another stressful time of year is right around the corner - tax season. Experts say that by getting a head start before the end of the year consumers can make tax time less taxing.

The AARP Tax-Aide coordinator for the Great Lakes region, Bruce Gelsinger, says the most important thing to do is to organize your records.

"No matter whether it's income, or whether it's a credit you may qualify for, or you're looking at a deduction; all that needs to be documented, so it's really good to gather your records and have them ready, as well as your last year's tax return."

For those who itemize, he suggests accelerating charitable giving before the end of the year. And if you planned on selling mutual funds next year, Gelsinger says you might want to consider doing it now, because the current reduction on dividend and capital gains in the tax code might change.

Gelsinger is busy recruiting volunteers for the A­ARP Tax-Aide program, which helps taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns. He says the program has an outstanding track record.

"Last year the tax aide volunteers - and we have about 1500 volunteers, something of that nature, in Ohio - actually prepared tax returns so that our clients could get about $50 million in refunds from the federal government."

Gelsinger says because of the success of the program time slots are already filling and volunteers are needed to continue to serve Ohio taxpayers. He says volunteers need no prior knowledge of tax law or computer programs and will be trained.

More information is available by visiting www.aarp.org or by calling
1-888-OUR-AARP.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH