We all know the closer we get to the middle of January it means some folks are getting tax refunds (in the U.S.). It also means you paid too much in taxes. Anyway I beg you in the name of Jesus, Horus, Buddha, Zoroaster, Mithras, Attis and many others not to go to H&L Rock, Take Yo Money Taxes or Aunt Judy’s rapid one day refund taxes to get your taxes done. They are stealing your money. You can file your taxes for free! Something even worse is happening. Some are stealing your identity.
“Refund anticipation loans are similar to payday loans — with high interest rates of 50 percent to a whopping 500 percent,” notes the Better Business Bureau. “You may get your refund faster, but you will not be getting as much money as if you wait for a government refund check.” - Are Tax Refund Loans Worth It? The refund may be faster, but interest and fees mean you’ll get less, AARP
That is right. Rapid refunds are merrily high interest rate loans on your money. YOUR MONEY! If you submit your taxes online directly through the IRS website and have your refund deposited in your bank account you can receive your returns at least seven business days later without encountering the huge fee these places charge you. Go to a legitimate service!
Did you know if you make a certain amount of money the folks at the IRS will do it for free? Yes free. If you are a service member you have folks who will do it for free. It’s your money after all. You worked hard for it and you deserve to get all of it back.
Check out the free tax preparation services offered by IRS:
Did you make less than $60,000 in 2014. You can file for free on the IRS website here.
Free Tax Return Preparation for You by Volunteers
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.
“The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $53,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing.
Find a VITA site near you or call 1-800-906-9887.
The TCE Program offers free tax help for all with priority assistance to people who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors. IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.
Find an AARP Tax-Aide, site near you or call 1-888-227-7669 for more information on TCE
In addition to traditional face-to-face tax preparation, the IRS is launching a self-assistance service at select locations. If individuals have a simple tax return and need a little help or do not have access to a computer, they can visit one of the participating tax preparation sites and an IRS-certified volunteer will guide them through the process.
Items you need to bring to the VITA/TCE sites to have your tax returns prepared:
- Proof of identification – Picture ID
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
- Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
It is extremely important that each person use the correct Social Security Number. The most accurate information is usually located on your original Social Security card. If you do not have an SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application. This form should be submitted to the nearest Social Security Administration Office.
If you or your dependent is not eligible to get a Social Security Number, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).”
Be smart. It’s your money!!!!!