You decide which film gets the 2019 Movies for Grownups Readers’ Choice award! Vote now.
by Don O'Briant, From the AARP Bulletin Print Edition, December 1, 2010
Nobody wants to think about taxes during the holidays, but preparing for tax season now can save you money and headaches by April 15.
December is not too early to start gathering your receipts and income statements, and it's not too late to implement tax strategies and consider how changes in the laws will affect you.
"This is the month when the first of the letters with 'Important Tax Information' stamped on the front begin to arrive. You may not know what they are, but put them aside with other tax information you will need," said Lynn R. Nelson, a coordinator in Valdosta for AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program.
Tax-Aide is a free volunteer-run assistance and preparation service for taxpayers with low and moderate incomes, particularly those age 60 and older. Last year, 687 Georgia Tax-Aide volunteers assisted with 44,800 returns with refunds over $23.3 million.
"The biggest change for Georgia taxpayers is that the Georgia Low Income Credit has been suspended. Ten percent or so of the people we do taxes for are only doing them to get this credit. There will be a lot of disappointments because of this alone," Nelson, 65, said.
Those who were eligible for the credit were Georgia residents with a federal adjusted gross income of less than $20,000 and who were not claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.
According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, retirement income includes items such as interest, dividends, net rentals, capital gains, royalties, pensions, annuities and the first $4,000 of earned income from wages, salaries, tips or a business.
There's still time to take advantage of the federal energy credit, capital gains tax break, Roth IRA conversions and, if you're unemployed, deductions for job-hunting expenses.
"There are many tax-planning strategies," said John Thomas, 67, a Tax-Aide district coordinator in Alpharetta. He highlighted four things taxpayers can do by Dec. 31 to lower their taxes:
For more information about the AARP Tax-Aide program, call 1-888-227-7669 toll-free after Jan. 15; use this online locator tool to find the Tax-Aide location nearest you.
Don O'Briant is a freelance writer in Atlanta.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Get tips and resources to protect yourself from fraud and see the latest scam alerts in your state.
Members save 15% all day, every day at participating locations.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at