Taking the Fear Out of Taxes

“In the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” –Ben Franklin

It’s that time of year again. With only two days left of 2008 it’s time to turn our thoughts to doing our taxes once more; and unless you’re an accountant, there’s probably a certain amount of grumbling and procrastination involved in this activity. But with a little bit of organization, preparing your taxes doesn’t have to be a painful or grueling activity. Wells Fargo has a wonderful, comprehensive online Tax Preparation Checklist that will help immensely before you sit down with Turbo Tax or meet with your accountant.

One of the things on this list is your 1098 form, which lists your mortgage interest paid. As long as you’re thinking about your mortgage, this is a good time to confirm that your home is held in the name of your trust (if you have one). Even if you are certain you transferred your home into the name of your trust when you first bought it (or when you first created the trust) it is not unusual for a refinancing to change that, and is worth a quick confirmation.

As an estate planning firm, we would also like to remind you that April 15 is not just a deadline for your own personal taxes. If you’ve had a death in the family in the past year, various tax returns may also need to be filed for the decedent. If you are or were the executor of an estate in 2008 and have questions about filing tax returns, we can help you. Please don’t hesitate to call our office and let us take some of the fear out of the April 15 deadline.