Lynchburg Tax Specialist Has Tips on How to Prepare for Filing Taxes

Lynchburg, VA - Tax season kicked off this week, and some people in Lynchburg are already getting the process started.

Tax experts at H&R Block in Lynchburg say these are the three busiest weeks of the year for them and other tax preparation offices.

Terrance Christian was at the H&R Block office off Memorial Avenue Saturday. This is his fourth time filing taxes there.

"As soon as I get them, I like to get them done and out of the way. That way I don't have to worry about it later on," he said.

Several people were at the office getting help filing their taxes. Most of them said they weren't stressed about it because they had everything in order.

"I just gather all my information and just come down here," said Keren Navas, a client.

Experts say that's the first step---getting all your documents together.

Rita Mitchell is a tax specialist and office manager at that H&R Block office. She says to start by getting your personal information like your social security card and ID.

"Then you want to start with your income information. You want your W-2s and 1099s. Then you need information for any credits you may have, such as education credits," she said from her office.

You should also bring in documents for real estate, mortgage and other property taxes.

"Any type of document that you get in the mail. A lot of them will say 'Tax Document Enclosed.' You want to make sure you bring those," said Mitchell.

She says returns range from simple to more complex, which includes people who sell stock or own a business. But most people who come into Mitchell's office just file as families.

"They definitely want to pay attention to daycare expenses. Those are deductible, so you want to make sure you have a receipt from daycare that you can bring in. Any medical expenses that are not paid by insurance can be deductible," said Mitchell.

If you're filing a simple return, which means just a W-2 form, specialists at H & R Block will do that for free until February 15.

The IRS has updated its website where you can find all the documents you need to file your taxes.

They also have a new "Where is My Refund" page where you can check on the status of your refund. You're supposed to get that 21 days after you file.

The website also has options that allow you to file your taxes for free.