Central Standard
9:41 am
Wed December 21, 2011

The Gift of Tax Advice

in this episode of Central Standard, a gift that every household needs for 2012  – good tax advice. We'll be join today be Elaine Smith, Enrolled Agent and Master Tax Advisor for H&R Bloch, with tips for wrapping up 2011 right – with advice for your charitable contributions, IRAs, and that receipt and bank statement filing system you’ve been meaning to start.

During the show today, we had a tricky question come up that our guest didn't know the answer. to. We have since looked it up, and here are the results --

Q: I’m an avid couponer.  I believe that coupons are legal tender.  When I purchased items for donation, can I deduct the full cost of the item, even though I paid less because I used my coupons?

A: It’s what you actually paid, not the fair market value or the price before coupons.  You can include sales tax.

Also, during the show we learned of an area tax filing service than many of our listeners may find helpful. Here is the information from listener Elizabeth:

If a taxpayer earned $50,000 or less in 2011, they are eligible to utilize free tax preparation services provided by KC CASH Coalition at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites around the KC metro area. Federal and state returns are filed electronically for free, by certified volunteer tax preparers, using software provided by the IRS. More information about VITA sites and the dates and hours they’ll be open can be found at http://www.kccash.org/wordpress/

For those with lower incomes but potentially complicated financial situations (unemployment, divorce/custody issues, etc.) these services would be expensive to pay for if done on a per-page basis at a professional tax provider. Also, if you are experienced in preparing taxes and would like to attend training to become a certified volunteer, that information is available on the KC CASH site as well.

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