Early IRS Tax Return Tips

The Internal Revenue Service wants to alert taxpayers that now is a great time to get a head start on their tax return.

"With less than a month to go before the end of the 2007 tax year here are some quick IRS tips that might save you time and money when you file your 2007 tax return," IRS Spokesperson Kevin McKeon said.

Get Your Records together

With the current tax year "winding down," the Internal Revenue Service is encouraging taxpayers to take the time now to gather and organize their tax records to reduce stress at tax time. Generally, tax records should be kept for three years, but some documents, for example, records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRAs and business or rental property, should be kept longer. For more information on what types of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals.

Get ready to e-file

Nearly 80 million taxpayers used e-file last year or about 57 percent of all returns were filed electronically. E-file is the safe, accurate way taxpayers to quickly complete their taxes and get a refund faster. More than 22.6 million returns have been e-filed by taxpayers doing their own returns. Go to IRS.gov and click on the blue e-file logo.

Get documentation for your Cash Contributions

To deduct any charitable donation of money, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. A bank record includes canceled checks, bank or credit union statements and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity and the date and amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity and the transaction posting date. Prior law allowed taxpayers to back up their donations of money with personal bank registers, diaries or notes made around the time of the donation. Those types of records are no longer sufficient.

Get the most out of your retirement accounts

Are you maximizing your contributions to your retirement accounts? This year, you can contribute up to $4,000 in an IRA, as well as another $15,500 to a 401(k) employer plan. If you

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