Yes, it is March, but before you know it, the tax filing deadline will be here. So if you have not filed your taxes yet, check out some ways that ensure you get the most money from your tax-filing experience!
1. If your income is of a certain level this year, the IRS may have an assistance program where certified volunteers can help you fill out your taxes, right here in the Houston area! Last year, I used this service and received great help with my taxes and did not pay anything to get them filed! Chances are, your city or state has offices or organizations that will assist you in filing your taxes and in many cases, there is very little to no fee! Here in Houston, Texas, the United Way of Greater Houston has tax assistance. Click here to learn more. Now there are certain guidelines that must be followed and your annual income must fall within certain guidelines as well. Click here to view those guidelines and see if you can benefit from these services!
2. If you are an elderly person or know someone who is elderly and they could use some assistance this season, there is a program that is titled “The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program” that offers free tax help to individuals who are age 60 or older. Click here to learn more!
3. Sit down and find out ways your donations of goods and money to organizations can help you get or increase your. Did you donate to church or pay tithes? You can write those tithes off! I saved receipts from the online ministry I donate $100 to every month. Because of my donation, I was able to get a nice refund back! Also, before I moved back to Houston, I got rid of lots of furniture. I took that gently used furniture to my neighborhood Goodwill and they were more than happy to take my donation. I then received a receipt from the Goodwill and that helped with my return!
4. What did you purchase last year? When you think about your activities last year, what did you purchase? Were you one of many Americans who were looking for a job? Check with your tax preparer and see what can be deducted. For example, you perhaps spent money on dry cleaning for that “lucky I’m gonna get this job” suit. Talk with your tax professional about what can be written off and make a vow to yourself that you will continue or begin to save receipts from items that you purchase that could possibly be written off.
5. Finally, if you are one of many Americans who receives a refund, then congratulations! Here is something to consider before you spend that refund money on a great item or a vacation. Think of your refund as money you earned and overpaid the government. It is not necessarily a “bonus”. So you may want to consider using your refund to pay old debts, such as a credit card or other loans you may have. For me, I was able to make the final payment on my car and I did use my money to purchase a pair of shoes and a dress! I was also able to place a few hundred dollars in the bank. So consider saving that money so that you have it just in case you need it.
Do you have a great tax-saving tip? Click here to learn tips on how to keep great records and watch related video below!
Cicely C. Mitchell, MIX 96.5/ Houston