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HELPFUL HINTS

By HELOISE

This article was published March 21, 2014 at 2:09 a.m.

DEAR READER: It’s tax season, and the April 15 deadline will be here in a blink of an eye. Here are a few hints from the Internal Revenue Service to make filing your taxes as smooth as possible:

Gather all needed documents before you start your taxes - not only your W-2s and 1099s, but also forms needed for adjustments and deductions: education and child-care costs, interest payments, job expenses, etc.

If you are uneasy about doing your taxes, get a professional’s help. Professionals often can help get credits and deductions you didn’t know you qualified for.

Double- and triple-check your work. Go over the numbers again to make sure you entered everything correctly. Make sure every place that needs a signature is signed. You wouldn’t want your refund to be delayed because you forgot to sign.

If mailing your return, do not send in original documents. Send copies, and keep the originals in case there is a problem.

DEAR HELOISE: Traveling with a small child can be hard at times. When my son was small, we would take a foldable play yard with us.It was a pain to haul, because it takes up space and can be heavy. As soon as he was old enough, we bought a toddler cot. It is very low to the ground and is much easier to take with us when we travel, and it can be used for other things. We take it to our niece’s soccer matches. It gives him a place to sit and play.

  • Peyton, via email

DEAR HELOISE: When I caught my young daughter again attempting to get in the bathroom medicine chest, we took the time to go through and discuss each item. The contents were no longer a mystery, and no more attempts were made to access the cabinet. She even cautioned her father days later when he left his razor on the tub.

  • JoAnn M. in Ohio

DEAR READER: JoAnn, you are a very smart and resourceful parent. Many times it’s the “mystery” of what things are behind that closet door or bathroom cabinet that attract a child. However, to be safe, you should install a child-safe lock or other device so she cannot get into it again. Parents and grandparents, take note and consider her advice.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email Heloise@Heloise.com

MovieStyle, Pages 36 on 03/21/2014

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