Monday, April 6, 2015

Thrifty Thinking: Last-Minutes Tax Info

I had a chance to interview Laura Scherler, Director of Financial Stability & Success at United Way Worldwide about some last-minute tax info.
What do people need to know about ACA tax filing issues?
Those who may still be waiting on tax documents, particularly documents related to income or healthcare, should consider using an online tax software this year that will allow them to start their return and save their data so they can log back in at any time and pick-up where they started as they collect all of their tax forms. Once all the paperwork is in place, they can simply log back into the software, complete their return, and e-file. Most tax software providers, even those that offer their service for free, include this level of flexibility and convenience.
How can people access free tax help?
According to the IRS, more than half of Americans earned $60,000 or less last year making them eligible to receive free tax preparation and filing assistance. A popular and free online option that I recommend is an initiative that offers free tax preparation and filing assistance to millions of households each is the first free online platform that can be used to file federal and state taxes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for households earning $60,000 or less. The online tool allows taxpayers to self-file for free using a simple step-by-step process that includes free telephone, email and online chat support by IRS-certified specialists. If a filer is unable to file online, they can access tax coaches and in-person filing assistance by going to the website and using the in-person look up tool to find a free tax site in their local community.
What are some last-minute tax tips you can share?
Choose to keep your hard-earned money this tax season by finding out if you’re eligible for free tax preparation and making sure you get the full value of your refund. A free tax preparation option could save you more than $200 in tax filing fees. One in five taxpayers are unaware that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable tax credit for working individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. Households with earned income of $52,427 or less in 2014 may qualify to receive as much as a $6,143 refund from the IRS. If you’ve never received the EITC in the past, you may qualify for the first time this year due to changes in your income, marital or parental status. Find out if your eligible using thisEITC Calculator.

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