Filing Your Taxes for Free & How it Works

free file

Is free tax filing really “free”?

During tax season, many taxpayers wonder if free file through tax preparation sites is a myth. It turns out, it’s true but it solely depends on your tax situation. 

How taxpayers fall for advertising.

On the bright side, the best part about filing online is being able to file your taxes right from home. For one thing, you can avoid the hassle of waiting to see a tax accountant. On top of that, you even see options to file for free!

Unfortunately, not all tax sites who advertise for free tax filing can help taxpayers for free. Most tax sites will only allow you to file your taxes for free if you have a “simple” return; meaning taking the standard deduction. 

As a reminder, if you’re itemizing the deductions below, you cannot file for free. Continue reading “Filing Your Taxes for Free & How it Works”

What is an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)?

IP PIN

Fraud can happen to anyone.

If your social security number was used fraudulently in the past, the IRS assigns a six-digit PIN to you; the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN).

Eligibility

In order to receive an IP PIN, you will need to meet the following:

  • You received a CP01A notice which will have it located at the bottom of the first column
  • The IRS sent you a letter inviting you to opt-in for the IP PIN
  • You were a resident of Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia, Michigan, California, Maryland, Nevada, Delaware, Illinois or Rhode Island last year

Note: Taxpayers who experience identity theft after they receive the CP01A notice will need to file the Identity Theft Affidavit

The steps on getting an IP PIN

Continue reading “What is an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)?”

How the government shutdown affects your taxes.

government shutdown

Update: The IRS has announced that the tax season will begin January 28, 2019 to start filing your 2018 tax returns!

Did you try calling the IRS?

Many taxpayers are confused as to how the government shutdown will affect the 2019 tax season. If you pick up the phone and contact the IRS, you’ll receive a short message instead of the typical menu. “Welcome to the IRS. Live telephone assistance is not available at this time. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible,” is what you hear when you call their toll free number.

Overall, this means that all IRS offices are closed because of the government shutdown. Read on to find out what you need to know for this tax season.

First off, what does “government shutdown” mean?

Continue reading “How the government shutdown affects your taxes.”