Filing tax returns can be confusing, often difficult and sometimes maddening, but learning to understand deductions, itemizing, filing status, new regulations and how to back up documents can make things easier.
The Virginia Cooperative Extension, or VCE, will host its "Getting Ready for Taxes" seminar from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 28 in room 107 at the Development Services Building, at 5 County Complex Court in Woodbridge, to help with the intricacies of filing taxes.
The seminar is taught by a tax expert who formerly worked with the Internal Revenue Service and will give people some tips and insights on how to best deal with their 2017 tax returns.
Victoria Neeley, the VCE financial education program manager in Prince William County, said the seminar will help people learn where to go to find the information they need to make filing taxes easier. "We can't teach them how to do their taxes in two hours, but we can teach them where to go, how to find this chart, how to find that rule, how to delve deeper. Mostly we teach them how to arrange their financials so that they're ready."
Itemizing is one of the big things that throw people off when they're doing their taxes. It's hard to know when to itemize and when to take standard deductions. "We talk about what paperwork and what things they need to get together if they're going to itemize. They might have to do some itemizing to see if it's worth it," Neeley said.
An important topic covered at the seminar will be how to avoid identity theft, Neeley said. "One of the main things to avoid identify theft is to file early so that no one can beat you to it. The sooner you file, the less likely somebody can steal your stuff."
The seminar will also help people learn what to ask when they're getting ready to file. "We go over the questions to ask yourself so that you don't miss anything," Neeley said.
Space is limited, and registration is required. Register online or email SmartMoney@pwcgov.org. For more information, visit www.pwcgov.org/money.