We realize this isn’t going to be the sort of post in which you see the headline and smile. The IRS is not generally a group that inspires rounds of applause, and we’re sorry if seeing this post didn’t make your morning coffee taste any sweeter. Still, if this post is of help to even one tax-paying Cheapster, then it was worth publishing.
The reality is that many of you Cheapsters have likely filed your taxes already and are just waiting on those refund checks. For those of you who haven’t, however, the deadline for filing those is Monday April 15. The IRS has a website that can handle most of the questions you might have as you start to figure up those numbers. In order to be more helpful, the Internal Revenue Service updated and redesigned the IRS.gov website to make it easier to navigate. So, where can you go for help and assistance filling out tax forms? Here are a few options:
Free File – This service is provided through the IRS website. Your income may limit your options, but everyone can use Free File. First of all, gather up your tax information and determine your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). If your AGI is $57,000 or less, you can use Free File Tax Software. If it’s more, you can still use the Free File Fillable Forms. These online versions of the paper forms does not offer state tax returns, but will still perform basic calculations. In either case, you can e-file your return for FREE.
VITA – If you make $51,000 or less, IRS-certified volunteers will provide FREE basic income tax return services to you through the VITA Program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). VITA sites are located around the community. We couldn’t possibly list all of them here (there are thousands nationwide), but click the VITA in blue letters to be taken to a page where you can find your nearest locations based on your Zip Code.
Where’s My Refund – For those Cheapsters who have already filed their tax returns, congratulations on finishing that necessary evil of a responsibility. If you haven’t received your expected refund yet, you can track its status with an IRS tool called “Where’s My Refund?” The system updates every 24 hours, and you can learn your refund status if you come prepared with your social security number, your filing status, and your exact refund amount. You can check 24 hours after you’ve sent your e-filed tax return or four week after you mail your paper return.