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Are Your Taxes Done for Free?
Where to Find Your Free "Tax Person"
Are You Scrambling to Get it Done? Are you in a blind panic as taxes are due in the next 9 days?
Many communities have a special tax time advice and help in filing taxes for senior citizens and poor people. However, usually they will not turn anyone away regardless of how much money you make or your age. Even if you are to file a simple 1040EZ form, you may have other income that you need to declare such as alimony, child support, a small home based business or income from an unexpected source or unusual source such as winnings from casino gambling, gold mining or winning a class action lawsuit.
I especially recommend seeing a tax person if you have complicated taxes such as extra income, or tax write offs for a business.
To find your free tax person, start searching. It should only take you a couple hours at worst to find this service if it is available in your area. Look in newspapers, on http://www.Craigslist.org, in the local newspaper or local TV station. Also, please do not hesitate to call your local library, senior citizen center or community center to see if there is a special program like this.
Another resource might be your church Pastor or Priest. They may know someone who knows if they don't. Ask around and be diligent as it is important to find a competent tax person.
In the worst case scenario, call the IRS. They may know someone also. I have actually gone in to the IRS offices and had them help me understand forms that looked like Chinese to me. They are happy to help.
Warning: IRS Agents do not, however, have a sense of humor. (Save those jokes and funny comments for the tweets later on from your car before you drive home!)
What are you going to do with YOUR refund?
What to Bring with You
Here is a short list of what to bring with you once you find your tax person/ tax clinic:
- all pay stubs
- receipts of any dividends, interest accrued in savings, money market or CD accounts
- income from real estate transactions
- income from sale of any vehicles, boats, trailers, etc.
- income from any odd jobs that are over 600 dollars
- alimony received or paid out
- child support
- your social security number
- social security number of your spouse
- social security numbers of your children
- your driver's license OR passport (to prove you are who you say you are)
- receipts of business lunches, travel, hotel receipts, conventions, proof of gas used for business if you have your own business, etc.
- Receipts for anything you might think can be a tax write off in your particular business (strippers write off g-strings and lingerie, for example, models write off expensive makeup and plumbers write off drain snaking tools... )
- If you have them, copies of the prepared tax forms from the past 2 years. Last year's is the most important but if you have them for the past 2-3 years that is best.
- Anything else you can think of that is relevant to your particular and unique situation
Sometimes a former IRS Agent will be kind enough to find a flaw in your former tax person's (or your) work from last year. Potentially you can get an additional refund from last year. The lady I see every year at the community center is amazing. Our first year together she discovered several flaws in the guy's tax preparation from the year before. I had paid this idiot 175 dollars to do my taxes and he refused to take down my children's social security numbers! He didn't even figure this in to my taxes at all. Children are a tax deduction! Her diligence earned me an additional 1600 dollars in addition to my refund from that year. The idiot tax guy (my official name for this lazy jerk now...) had me OWING money, conveniently forgot to tell me and I was then owing the IRS back taxes and penalties on top of penalties 6 months after they were due, because of his failure to communicate to me and his failure to actually care about me, his client! Not only did my tax lady get me an enormous refund, I was also refunded the money and penalties I had paid already and I got an apology letter from the IRS! This is why I LOVE my free tax lady!
Many times these free tax clinics will be run by former IRS agents that literally use IRS computers. Your information will go directly to the IRS from that computer, which is ultra secure and you will get your refund really quickly. Your refund is not considered income on next year's taxes and for those of you good folks who live in HUD housing or receive welfare, it is also not considered as income.
Good Luck on this year's taxes and I hope this helped you stop procrastinating and to get on out there and claim your money!
Many blessings to you and may your life not be taxing,