I'm sure than many of you have already finished your tax returns - congratulations! However, some people (like me )are procrastinating because our taxes are complicated and overwhelming. If you haven't done your return yet, you might want to check out this excellent free tool from TurboTax called It's Deductible. It's Deductible does require you to create an online account, but it is easy and doesn't ask for a lot of personal information.
Once you're logged in, It's Deductible gives you the choice of working on your 2008 return, planning ahead for 2009, or going back to 2007 to do an amended return. However, what I really love about this program is it's easy record-keeping.
For money donations, it allows you to specify the charity, the amounts and the form of payment. It has a quick way to track repeat donations, for example, church offerings.
For donations of items, the form calculates the allowable amount for each item while remaining within the IRS guidelines. This is great because I never knew how to calculate those items and always ended up under-estimating. The item form is quick enough that it isn't a burden to itemize the items being donated. I'd always hated doing that part because it was so time-consuming.
There are also portions to the donation of stocks or deducting mileage for volunteer work or making charitable donations. The ease of record-keeping means that I will actually bother to take this deduction this year.
In addition to its forms and calculations, It's Deductible also has a sidebar that remains full of frequently asked questions that apply to the section that you are filling out. The answers are not guaranteed, the respondents are often professionals and they are rated.
I wish I had found this software in the past. I can see that it is going to make my record-keeping easier and help me maximize my deductions in the future. I like it so much that I've already told my closest friends about it, and now I get to share it with you. Yeah!