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Be Smart About Your Tax Return

February 12, 2016 Taxes 2 Comments
Free File, click image for IRS' Free File page
Free File, click image for IRS’ Free File page

It’s tax season so you’ll see more news stories about people trying to get your refund. We haven’t received everything we need to finish our taxes but I’m 100% certain nobody will steal our refund — because we’re not getting one. The only time you get a refund is when you’ve overpaid the IRS by having too much money withheld. They return the overpayment to you without interest. Adjust your withholding to reduce your annual overpayment to almost zero.

The other thing I see a lot of these days are advertisements selling tax preparation software & services.  Many pay $50-$400 for services they could do online for free. Yes, free.

All federal forms are free. It’s free whether you draw a paycheck, are self-employed or are a small business owner. It’s free whether you file a Form 1040, 1040EZ or 1040A. It’s free whether you have mortgage interest to deduct, have kids in college or earn a little from the stock market. It’s all free. (IRS)

Incomes up to $62,000 can use online software for free, higher incomes can use fillable forms.

 

If you do go to a tax service, please don’t pay extra to get your refund immediately — it’s a high interest loan.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Greg says:

    The problem isn’t with people “stealing your refund” — the people who file false tax returns under someone else’s name don’t have access to your W2s and 1099s. Instead they simply make up fake tax documents and claim a large refund from the IRS.

    The problem is causes is that the person who has the false return filed is then flagged and the process of submitting a return (and getting a refund, if appropriate) takes months.

     
  2. Bob Koogler says:

    Steve, while I’m sure your PSA is well intentioned, it’s not correct, Scoundrels steal your personal information (name, address, SSN, etc.) and then make up numbers that yield a sizable return. You can decrease your odds of not being fraudulently scammed by filing early so IF someone else files with your information it is flagged.

     

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