Two ways to save on taxes

Does the IRS owe you more money? Did you pay property tax?

Last year the Economic Stimulus Program provided most taxpayers with a stimulus payment. If you did not receive the maximum payment or if you had a child in 2008, you could be eligible for more money this year.

To determine your eligibility, you must be able to prove to your tax-preparer the amount of the payment you received in 2008, if any. The easiest way to document the amount of your stimulus payment is to bring the form (Notice 1378) the IRS sent to you confirming your payment.

If you do not know how much you received, you can call the IRS hotline at 866-234-2942 or go to the IRS Web site at, searching for "Where's My Stimulus Payment," and input your Social Security number, the filing status and the number of exemptions for last year. If you had money owing the government that was deducted, you need the stimulus payment before the deduction.

When it is time to have your taxes prepared, make sure you have proof of the amount of stimulus payment you received.

Also, there is a new deduction for your property taxes even if you do not itemize. Up to $500 for a single person or $1,000 for a couple can be added to your standard deduction, thus reducing your income tax. You will need to know how much you paid for your real estate taxes for 2008, so look it up and bring it to your tax-preparer.

AARP TAX-AIDE will be announcing its sites and times for Clallam and Jefferson counties in the latter part of January. Watch the Gazette for dates and times.

Provided by the AARP Tax-Aide free tax preparation service of Clallam /Jefferson Counties.

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