It’s that time of the year again. Tax season.

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If you are like most, this can be a difficult time. Trying to maneuver through complex forms and processes in order to make sure your taxes are prepared according to government standards isn’t always the most fun item on a person’s to do list. 

Don’t stress! Let us help you with three tips to remember throughout the tax preparation process… 

1) Organization is key – Keep your tax records organized throughout the year instead of waiting to gather them all at tax time. This will make your tax return quicker and easier to prepare. While many items needed to prepare your return such may not be available to you until year-end, you can gather records for donations, property taxes, child care expenses and medical expenses during the year. Something as simple as setting up a separate file folder for deductible expenses and keeping your receipts in them will be helpful. Start today for your 2015 tax records!

2) Changes Matter – Changes in your personal status such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, purchase of a home or purchase or sale of business assets could affect your filing status and deductions you are entitled to. Be sure to make your tax preparer aware of any changes that have occurred since filing your last tax return. 

3) Respond Promptly to Notifications – If you receive a notice from the IRS or State Revenue Department that they need additional information to process your return or that they are making changes to your return based on outside source information they have, be sure to respond to the notice or have your tax preparer respond to it on your behalf. Ignoring the notice does not make it go away and could possibly make matters worse for you. 

At United Way of the Bluegrass we understand that help is needed, that’s why we sponsor a program to help families with qualifying household income prepare their taxes with free financial advising. The CKEEP program- or the Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Program- is a coalition between United Way of the Bluegrass and the IRS to not only provide free tax preparation to low-income families, but also raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and to help families build assets.

In other words, free tax preparation to help you get (and save!) the money you deserve. Last tax season, CKEEP participants saved almost $775,000 in tax preparation fees.

To see if you qualify for the CKEEP program, visit our website and complete the quick questionnaire. You’ll then be able to schedule your appointment online. It’s that simple.

CKEEP is one program that supports our pillar of financial stability as we work toward the Big Bold Goal (BBG). To learn more about the BBG and why It Matters, click here.