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J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2014: For Preparing Your 2013 Tax Return by J. K. Lasser

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Chapter 46

Filing Your Return

Whether you prepare your return yourself or retain a professional preparer, you must first collect and organize your tax records. You cannot prepare your return unless you get your personal tax data in order. Good records will help you figure your income and deductions and will serve as a written record to present to the IRS in the event that you are audited.

Review income statements from banks, employers, brokers, and governmental agencies on their respective Forms 1099. Check for miscalculations, additions, and omissions.

Survey Chapters 1221 of this book for deductions you can claim directly from gross income and itemized deductions you can claim on Schedule A of Form 1040.

Reviewing your tax return from prior years will help refresh your memory as to how you handled income and expenses in prior years. This review will also remind you of deductions, carryover losses, and other items you might otherwise have overlooked that you might be eligible for. If your prior year returns were prepared by a professional, he or she can probably provide you with a copy of your returns if you do not have them. Otherwise, you may obtain copies of prior year tax returns by filing ...

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