What do I need to bring when I am having my taxes prepared?
Following is a list of the more common items you should bring if you have them. ? Wage statements (Form W-2) ? Pension, or retirement income (Forms 1099-R) ? Dependents' Social Security numbers and dates of birth ? Last year's tax return ? Information on the sales of stocks and/or bonds ? Social Security and/or unemployment income ? Income and expenses from rentals ? Record of purchase or sale of real estate

Please feel free to download and print our tax organizer from our home page.  The organizer will further assist you in gathering all of your tax information.

Is my social security taxable?
Usually if your income including social security benefits is less than $25,000 if single or $32,000 if married, your benefits are not taxable. If your income is higher than those limits, there are formulas to determine what percentage of your social security is taxable. Currently up to 85% of your social security may be taxable.

When can I make contributions to my IRA?
Generally for any tax year, you can make a contribution to your IRA up until the original due date of the return (usually April 15). Thus for tax year 2008, you can make contributions from January 1, 2008 through April 15, 2009.

What are the differences between a Roth and a conventional IRA?
A traditional IRA lets you deduct contributions in the year you make them, and the distributions are included as income on your return when you withdraw from the IRA after reaching age 59½. A Roth IRA does not let you deduct the contributions, but you also do not report the distributions as income, no matter how much the Roth account has appreciated. With a Roth, you can exclude the income earned in the account from being taxed.

What are the consequences of early withdrawals from my retirement plans?
there is a 10% penalty on the taxable amount. The main exceptions that let you withdraw money early without penalty are as follows: • Qualified retirement plan distributions if you separated from service in or after the year you reach age 55 (does not apply to IRAs). • Distributions made as a part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments (made at least annually) for your life or the joint lives of you and your designated beneficiary. • Distributions due to total and permanent disability. • Distributions due to death (does not apply to modified endowment contracts) • Qualified retirement plan distributions up to (1) the amount you paid for unreimbursed medical expenses during the year minus (2) 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for the year. • IRA distributions made to unemployed individuals for health insurance premiums. • IRA distributions made for higher education expenses. • IRA distributions made for the purchase of a first home (up to $10,000). • Distributions due to an IRS levy on the qualified retirement plan. • Qualified distributions to reservists while serving on active duty for at least 180 days.

How do I find out about my refund?
The best way is to use the Check Your Refund link from the Resources pages of our website! To look up the status of your federal or state refund, you will need your social security number, filing status, and exact amount you’re expecting back. Alternatively, you can go directly to the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96596,00.html 

How long do I keep my records and tax returns?
You should keep your records and tax returns for at least 3 years from the date the return was filed or the date the return was required to be filed, whichever is later. It is recommended that you keep these records longer if possible.