Tips for Tax Season

Essential information to get (and keep!) your full refund:

If you are a resident without a Social Security Number, the IRS can assign you an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that will allow you to file your taxes. Ask your tax preparer for more information.

You have until the April filing date to contribute to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for the previous year. The limits for 2010 are $5,000 for people under 50 years of age and $6,000 for people age 50 and older. This is an excellent way to save more money for retirement while receiving a higher refund now.

IRS-certified volunteers can file your taxes for free at local sites, such as the Santa Fe Community College. They can help with most returns, except those involving a business with employees or other highly complicated situations. For more information on free tax preparation sites, visit IRS.gov. Be sure to bring all necessary forms and records when you go.

Choose to have your refund deposited directly to your account for quick turnaround. You will receive the money within 1-2 weeks, as long as all documents were filed correctly.

Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs). You already waited the whole year to get your money back—why not give it another week or two and save the fee?