Paying taxes is one of those facts of life that no one is happy about. You can try to avoid it, delay it, or do whatever you want to do. In the end, you’ll end up paying it, or else you might face criminal charges. We don’t keep procrastinating filing our taxes just because of the money issue, but also because the process is long and boring. If you’re taking your time filing your taxes, know that there’s a big bunch of Americans doing the exact same thing.
A big reason why many people didn’t really file their taxes on Tax Day in 2022 is because they don’t think they will be eligible for any refunds. That’s why these people don’t really have a sense of urgency when it comes to filing their taxes. There are probably also other reasons or factors that hold people off from filing their taxes. These reasons can include stress. Or, maybe they just want to make sure they have all their affairs 100% in check.
Refunds May Motivate You To File Your Taxes As Soon As Possible
Filing your taxes and filing them correctly should be a priority. The thing is, as of the 25th of March 2022, the government has given out almost 58 million refunds. Let’s put an even more shocking number to that statistic. The total amount the government has refunded so far is over $188 billion. That means that the average refund was about $3,263. You’d think with what’s happening with the economy that the government would shrink down these refund checks. But, the reality is far from that. The average refund payout by the government actually increased by $448 during the 2021 filing season. Considering you can make thousands of dollars from refunds, you might want to learn more about it. And, we’re here to tell you all about it.
Few Tax-Related Pieces Of Advice You Should Follow
We already agreed that almost no one enjoys the whole process of filing taxes. But, your tax duty is going nowhere. If you have to do your taxes, then you might as well do them correctly. We’ll walk you through some steps to help ease the process for you.
First thing you should know is that the official deadline for the 2022 filing season was on April 18th. Some people filed for an extension. That means they’ll have more time to sort things out. Those who filed for extension have until the 15th of October 2022 to file their taxes. In case you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you definitely want to look into filing for an extension. You also want to do that the minute you can. We’ll break down the rest of our tax-related advice into 3 sections:
- Find yourself someone professional to help you sort out your taxes
- Don’t forget to get the most out of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Programs
- You don’t want to miss out on IRS’ Fresh Start Program
Find Yourself Someone Professional To Help You Sort Out Your Taxes
Ever heard of the expression “leave it to the professionals”? While it rings true in many cases, tax filing is the one time when that saying makes most sense. Those guys know all about taxes. They know the ins and outs of the whole number game. They also have very solid backgrounds about the legal aspect of tax filing. Sure, you can know about your income and how much you think you should pay in taxes. But, a professional will have a more scientific approach to your tax filing. Who knows? They might even be able to help you save a few bucks through tax deductions.
Don’t Forget To Get The Most Out Of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Programs
Some people are better at numbers than others. Also, people have different amounts of knowledge when it comes to filing taxes. Not everyone knows what they’re doing. It might even be more difficult for some to learn about the topic than others. Thankfully, the government understands that. That’s why the IRS developed programs to help people out:
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
Keeping in mind that not everyone will be good at preparing their tax files accurately, the IRS created programs such as VITA to help out those who need the help. This program basically offers help with preparing tax returns. For any eligible individual, this program is free. The program has been going strong for over 50 years now.
We know that the IRS created this program. We know that they also manage it. However, when it comes to operations, VITA sites (as well as TCE sites) have IRS partners behind the wheel. These sites are full of volunteer staff. These certified volunteers are often retired and work with non-profit organizations to make a difference in their respective communities. Besides that, those guys can also receive grants from the IRS for that kind of volunteer work.
The idea behind these programs created by the IRS is to help people who struggle to get their tax returns in order. That list will include people who lack a certain level of income, might be of a certain age, or even lack English language proficiency. Let’s make the qualifications clear, in case you qualify for VITA:
- People who earn $60,000 or less
- Disabled individuals
- Elderly People
- People who struggle to speak English fluently
The name of the program basically tells it all. This program focuses on helping taxpayers above the age of 60. The IRS provides funding to “reimburse volunteers for their out-of-pocket expenses; including transportation, meals and other expenses incurred by them in providing tax counseling assistance at locations convenient to the taxpayers.”
This form of tax return preparation assistance is usually given to elderly taxpayers between January 1 and April 15 each year, which is the normal period for filing Federal income tax returns. But, elderly taxpayers should expect to find the efforts required to receive efficient and quality tax assistance available all-year-round.
And, the neat thing about both VITA and TCE is not just that they’re free. These programs also are reliable and trusted sources for preparing tax returns. Volunteers who work with programs to prepare returns must take and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards. During training, these volunteers will learn about maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information. On top of that, the IRS requires a quality review check for every return prepared at a VITA/TCE site before they’re actually filed.
You Don’t Want To Miss Out On IRS’ Fresh Start Program
TCE and VITA can be really helpful when you don’t know how to file your tax return. But, why stop there when there are other programs that can help you? What about if you need help paying your taxes? The IRS came up with several programs under the ‘Fresh Start’ name. These programs are supposed to provide debt relief to those struggling to pay their taxes. You might want to check out the programs below, as they can be very useful: