W2's will soon be in your mailboxes, if they're not already. Tax season has arrived.
“I try to get mine done as soon as possible so they're out of the way. Like everybody else though, it's not like I have a special 'in.' I still have to wait to get all my paperwork as well." said Master Tax Advisor Patricia Catchpole.
Patricia Catchpole is a Master Tax Advisor for H&R Block, so she knows a thing or two about filing a return. And while most of us get excited about the possibility of a generous refund, Catchpole reminds us to make sure we have all of the necessary documentation in hand before making any appointments or tackling the return on our own.
“You need your mortgage interest and as I've said if you have done a refinancing over the past year you want to make sure you get your interest statements from both the banks that you're using or multiple banks if your mortgage has been sold and it was owned by somebody else for a month or two,” said Catchpole.
As a homeowner, especially first time homeowners filing for the first time, you need to remember a few things. Best of all, nowadays, a lot of the pertinent information you'll need from the bank is available online before you'll see it in your mailbox.
“If homeowners have their taxes paid through an escrow account in their mortgage interest, typically they will get a statement with both pieces of information. The interest and the property taxes paid. You can now get this online before the statement comes out. That's a big push right now,” said Catchpole.
Anyone who took advantage of the very first new homeowner tax credit offered in 2008, which was structured as a loan, it's payback time. Also, if you've installed any energy efficient appliances, make sure to obtain the proper documentation that shows the product qualifies.
“The energy credit in 2010 was up to 1500 it is now up to 500. And it deals with the standard insulation, windows, doors. Things like that,” said Catchpole.