It’s Tax Time! The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tax season began accepting tax returns on January 28 for an estimated 150 million taxpayers. As for when the deadline is, the IRS stated, "The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019, for most taxpayers. Because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17 to file their returns."
How are you filing your taxes?
As more and more people turn to file their taxes online, to save both time and money, there are websites that consistently rank as the most popular and simplest to use. On such self-filing tax sites, the most basic option normally has zero fees according to the income amount. Depending on the income and tax advice sought, are various corresponding levels and payment options.
However, do note these sites are best utilized for simple, straightforward tax returns. If you own your own business, are self-employed, filing in multiple states or have investments, it is recommended to seek professional help by a tax specialist to guide you through your income tax return, as you may not be aware of claims or deductions you may be entitled to. These websites guide a taxpayer through the process, from entering your income amount to the threshold of income tax to be paid, and ultimately, to the tax refund to be expected.
Free, Online Tax Services
- H & R Block
- Jackson Hewitt
- Credit Karma
- Turbo Tax - Absolute Zero
- FreeTaxUSA - Free Edition
- TaxSlayer - Free Federal Simply Free
- eSmart Tax - Free Plan
- TaxAct - Free Edition
IRS Phone Scams - Don’t Be Fooled
With tax season in full swing, caution is recommended against the rise of phone scams regarding the IRS. Phone scammers are contacting people, posing to be from the IRS. They try to pressure unsuspecting taxpayers to settle any tax payments owed, immediately, or they threaten that they will send a sheriff and police officers to their home to arrest them. I myself received such a phone call two years ago when I didn’t even owe the IRS any payment. It was rattling; initially, the person making the call was very convincing. They called back twice, but once I told them I was going to report the phone number to the IRS, they hung up and never called again.
As you work on your taxes, keep in mind the following facts about the IRS:
- The IRS will not call you to demand payment and then threaten to send someone to your house to arrest you if you do not make an immediate payment over the phone.
- The IRS always sends a notification letter in the mail regarding tax matters for you to appeal or question.
- The IRS does not require payments be made immediately over the phone by a certain payment method such as a pre-paid debit card, credit card, MoneyGram or bank transfer.
- The IRS always works out a payment plan.
If you have received such a phone call, you can — and should — report it to the IRS.
Mailing In Your Forms
If you are filling out your tax forms by hand, remember that they contain very sensitive and personal information, such as Social Security numbers, children’s names, bank and investment account numbers, and so on. You should bring your filled-out IRS tax forms directly to the post office to mail. Do not leave in your mailbox, or a mailbox on the street for the postal courier to collect as mail theft is on the rise.
Valerie Lynn is a Traditional Feminine Healthcare Expert specializing in Postnatal Recovery as well as the author of The Mommy Plan, Restoring Your Post-Pregnancy Body, Using Women’s Traditional Wisdom and the cookbook Healing Meals: Simple Recipes for New Moms (Q1-2018). Her seminar, Optimizing Maternity Leave: A Roadmap to Post-Pregnancy Recovery, aims to help new moms to create their own individualized, systematic, daily 6-Week & Beyond Post-Pregnancy Recovery & Recuperation Plan.