DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

March 14, 2013

Vital records are readily available, just look

About the Law
Andrew Myers

---- — What can I do if my mother refuses to give me my birth certificate and divorce papers? I need these legal documents, which are in her house, for a couple of reasons.

I wrote her a letter and she refused to send them. I don’t want to talk to her. What can I do?

This is a cinch. You can obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, if you were born in New Hampshire, from the Division of Vital Records Administration in Concord. It will only cost you $15 and you can physically go there, or visit their website, complete the application and mail it with a check.

As for the divorce decree, this is obtainable from the New Hampshire Family Court. Go to their website, complete the form and send it in with $25 in order to obtain a certified copy.

The point here is that these documents are available to you. Even if your birth or divorce did not take place in New Hampshire, it’s likely that a web search for the official record keepers and vital statistics bureaus in the pertinent state will locate the information required to obtain what you need.

Let it go with the drama with mom and get your own copies of these documents.

I filed my own taxes early this year because I needed to get my refund. After I filed, I then got a W-2 from a job I had forgotten that I had worked last year. Now what do I do?

You need to file an amended return on a Form 1040X. The catch is that you should do this before the April 15 due date in order to avoid interest and penalties.

If you were entitled to a refund and think you’ll get more, wait until you receive the refund. You may cash that check, then file. But, if you’ll owe additional tax, be sure to file before the deadline to avoid penalties and interest.

Have a professional tax preparer do this. Your specific circumstances could significantly change things. I don’t even do my own taxes and have always found the money paid to a tax professional is money well spent.

I’m duty bound to tell you this column is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as actual tax advice, which can only be given by a tax professional.

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Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to andrew@attorney-myers.com.