Making sure you're ready for tax season

Tax season is right around the corner. The earlier you prepare for the looming April 15 tax deadline, the easier it will be to file your taxes. Everett M. Lo, from Social Security Administration New York Regional Public Affairs, offers some helpful hints as you prepare for tax season.

Make sure your information matches ours. Carefully check your name, Social Security number and all of the data on your W-2s and on your Social Security statement or card to make sure they match up.

If you can't find your card or statement but know your Social Security number, make sure the number and information is correct on your W-2s. A mismatch could delay your tax refund and cause problems with your Social Security benefits in the future. Such errors are easy to fix now.

A name change is the main change. If you've legally changed your name due to marriage, divorce, court order or for any other reason, make sure you change your name with Social Security by applying for a new Social Security card. Make sure you change your name with your employer as well. If you change with one source but not the other, it could cause your earnings to be improperly recorded. A minor detail could cause a major mix-up.

If you are the parent of a newborn, most people apply for their baby's Social Security card while they're still in the hospital at the same time they apply for the birth certificate. You need to apply for your child's Social Security number in order to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return. You'll also need it if you ever apply for government benefits on behalf of the child or your family.

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620.

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