Dear Ms. 1040EZ,

Could you tell me what I will need to prepare my taxes? I always forget something and need to return with information instead of getting it all done at one time.

Repeat Tripper in Malaga

Dear Repeat,

That question is very open ended, since I am not aware of your tax circumstances. You will need to consult with your tax preparer for what you specifically need.

I do have a couple of recommendations for you and all the other tax payers who read this column.

Here are a few "hints" to make it a little easier to prepare your taxes this year. It will not be long before you will start receiving tax information.

- Organize a convenient place to deposit all the papers that you will need and try to open your mail as you receive it. Place all the tax information there! (I would suggest a small box to toss it in, then you can "neaten up" the pile before going to your preparer.)

- Carefully open the computer generated forms (W-2's, Social Security and other 1099's, etc.) so that needed information is not destroyed or made illegible.

- If you have logged mileage or other expenses throughout the year, place that info in your box. Also, you will need to know the mileage for each half of the year as there were separate rates this year.

- Before I forget, write down your ending odometer reading if you take mileage as a deduction. (Hopefully, you already have the beginning reading recorded.)

- Remember that not all banks and credit organizations send out the information on interest expense, so you might need to contact them for the info and add it to your box.

You will need :

- All sources of income

- Either a listing or a total of all of what you think are your deductible expenses, then it can be determined whether or not you take the standard deduction or itemize.

- Self-employment information if you have your own business.- - A list of your estimated tax payments if any were made. Include the date payment was made, check number, etc., so that you have a record if there are questions later.

Hope this helps you get started!

...Ms. 1040EZ

As always, check with your tax preparer regarding any of these issues.

Submit questions to:

Ms. 1040EZ

PO Box 13

Barnesville, OH 43713

Or e-mail: (Please enter "Ms. 1040EZ" in the subject line.)