Tax season is here, and it’s stressful enough without the threatening and aggressive tactics of scammers impersonating the IRS. In recent years, thousands of people have lost substantial amounts of money, as well as precious personal information, to tax scams. Although you may think you’re too savvy to fall victim, it’s important to remember that every year, criminals find new and creative ways to cheat you out of your money and identity.
Most Americans start thinking about tax preparation shortly before April 15, the traditional date tax returns are due to the IRS.
I was one of those Americans. I was always making a vow that next year’s tax season would go easier because this year was the year I’d get my tax act together. But then, you know…life. The next thing, it was the following April and there I was again, tearing around the house like a whirling dervish, frantically looking for a wayward 1099. It struck me a few years ago: the best time to prepare for next year’s season? The days after tax returns are due, when my head is in the game and I’ve got taxes on my mind.
*This publication is only intended to be used for general informational purposes. Consult a tax professional for the most current data and/or personal advice.
Are you ready for tax season? The IRS is. They accept 2016 tax returns beginning January 23.
The majority of us – about 70% – will get a refund. Whether you use yours to pay down debt, boost your savings, or spend it on a vacation, that payment could be the largest one-time sum you receive all year.
Compiling everything you need in order to prepare your federal income taxes is often a bigger challenge than actually doing them. Though the process of locating forms and documents may feel overwhelming, it really just requires knowing what you need and an organized approach to hunting and gathering.
One facet of credit reporting rules that probably causes more hand-wringing than any other is the removal of paid negative listings. Or rather, the lack of removal. If you’re like most people, you feel it’s logical that once you have paid off an item like a delinquent credit card, collection account, or judgment that it would be taken off your report. However, that generally hasn’t been the way credit reporting laws have operated. Paid-off negative items can stay in your credit file for the full amount of time allowed by law even after you have paid them.