Many Missourians have started receiving documents needed to file 2009 income tax returns. And, the Internal Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to begin getting their papers in order.

“Whether you’re an individual taxpayer or a business owner or self employed the easiest way to avoid headaches at tax time is to have good records,” said Michael Devine, St. Louis-based IRS Media Specialist for Missouri and Kansas. “They’re going to help you remember what you did last year, what you can deduct, and what business expenses you may have had that you can write off.”

The forms showing employment and those with information on bank and many financial transactions are mailed to taxpayers, but individuals and businesses must do some work on their own.

“You’re going to want to look for receipts that have to do with any education expenses,” said Devine. “If you did any energy improvements on your home that could be up to a $1,500 credit, if you bought a home you might be eligible for the first time homebuyers’ credit or even a new credit if you’re buying a second home.

The filing deadline is April 15th, but waiting until the end is not the best option.

“Every year we have people that wait until the end and then they end up having to ask for an extension because they don’t have a piece of paper that they could have asked for in February,” said Devine.

Most 2009 employment documents should be mailed to taxpayers by the end of January.

Audio: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)