They say that just two things are certain in this world: Death and taxes. Ominous, right?
If the thought of paying your taxes gives you stress-hives, you are not alone. But, we’ve got a few important tips that will help get you on the right track—and hopefully get that refund into your bank account as soon as possible.
Here is what you need to know about the upcoming tax season:
1. Tax Refunds May Be Delayed This Year
First, the bad news: The Internal Revenue Service has warned Americans that their refunds could be a few weeks late. Concerns over identity theft and other increased security measures are partly behind this delay, so just be prepared for this possibility.
2. The Filing Deadline Is April 18
The date got pushed forward a little thanks to April 15 falling on a Saturday and Monday being a national holiday. All taxes will be due by this date. So, if you owe the government any money, it’s time to start paying up or looking into your options. If you can’t pay, visit the Internal Revenue Services website for tips on what to do next.
3. Don’t Put Off Filing Because You Owe Money
Even if you cannot pay your taxes, do not wait to file! This will only lead to penalties and fees that will be added onto to your debt. Similarly, anyone who files late will be hit with these charges… so do NOT put off filing until after the due date. You don’t want to hand over your hard-earned cash to Uncle Sam for no reason.
4. Check The Status Of Your Refund
Of course, many people actually get money back from the government after they file. Whoop, whoop! If you are curious about your refund, visit the IRS website to check up on it. If you file by mail, it should take about four weeks to process and show up online, but if you file on the site, you will see your status within 24 hours.
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5. Free Help Is Available
If you are absolutely confused by the tax-filing process but you do not have money to pay for an accountant, don’t fret. There are free assistance programs to help people just like you. Find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program near you by visiting the IRS website. You might also call your local library or civic center to see if they are offering such programs.