It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not one of those snowy holidays with all the presents and parties. I’m talking about tax season. Get excited! The April 15th deadline to file your state and federal tax returns is fast approaching. Have you filed yet? Have you gathered all your necessary paperwork and information? Are you even thinking about it yet? If not, don’t delay any longer. While filing your taxes can seem intimidating and tedious, it is absolutely necessary and isn’t as hard as you think.
The most important fact about taxes is that you need to file a return even if you can’t afford to pay your taxes right now. The penalty for late payment is far less than the penalty for not filing a return at all. The IRS offers resources to help you navigate the filing process and to resolve any issues you may have. You just need to contact them. Visit www.IRS.gov to find all the forms, guides, and resources you need.
If you’re not confident that you can file a tax return on your own, there are free services for those who qualify.
Free Tax Services From the IRS
- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers assistance to consumers who generally make less than $53,000 a year, are disabled, elderly, or speak limited English.
- The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program for consumers over the age of 60.
- Visit http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ to find a VITA or TCE site near you.
- Working people with a low income may qualify to receive an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), reducing the amount of tax that they owe. Visit the EITC section of the IRS website for more information.
Let’s not forget that you can also hire a professional to file your taxes for you. The service is not free but, if they can maximize your return, then a professional might be worth the cost. It all depends on your financial situation and the fees of the tax professional. Look to friends and family for referrals.
Filing your taxes does take a little bit of work, but the IRS is truly there to help make the process as efficient and productive as possible.
Are you looking for help getting out of debt? Contact American Consumer Credit Counseling to speak with a certified credit counselor. Call 800-769-3571 for a free counseling session!