Some people have already filed their 2011 taxes, while others are still in the middle of preparing their returns. No matter which category fits your situation, these tax tips from the IRS are worth reading. If you haven't taken advantage of some of these benefits, there's still time to amend your return and get some of your money back or a larger refund!
Home energy credits are still available for 2011 - If you made any improvements to your home in 2011, this credit is worth checking out. Credits are available for qualifying improvements, such as adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, certain roofs, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and stoves that burn biomass fuel, solar electric systems, solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and fuel cell property. Click on this link to find out more: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=249922,00.html.
The Earned Income Tax Credit can give you money back - If you earned less than $49,078 in 2011, you might be eligible to receive money back, even if you did not owe any taxes. You must have earned some income in 2011 to qualify. Use the Earned Income Tax Credit Assistant at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=130102,00.html, to find out if you qualify. Or click on the following link for more information about the credit: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=253162,00.html.
Education tax credits can help pay higher education costs - The American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may be available to you if you paid postsecondary tuition and fees for yourself, your spouse or your dependent in 2011. To get more information about these credits, click on the following link: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254740,00.html.
These are just a few of the almost 40 tax tips the IRS has sent to subscribers since Jan. 1. If you want to get these tips directly by e-mail, you can sign up at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/content/0,,id=105773,00.html.
If you need help preparing your return, earn less than $50,000 per year, and file basic tax return, you may qualify for help from a local tax assistance site. To find a site year you, search on AARP's Tax Aide locator at http://www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action.
If you would like to learn more about money management, contact us for information about our Managing Your Money series, which is offered continually in localities throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Call me at 540-459-6140, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call your local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension. You can download a copy of the registration flyer at the following url: http://offices.ext.vt.edu/shenandoah/programs/fcs/Files/Managing_Your_Money_Series_Winter_2012_Flyer.pdf.