Consumer trying to get a jump on the tax filing and refund ball may have to wait a bit longer, as the Internal Revenue Service suffered a severe computer crash on Wednesday that prevented it from accepting any taxpayer information for several hours. [More]
So you couldn’t pay your taxes and you opted not to file them, or an extension, at all. Don’t sit around worrying about when the IRS will catch on and come after you; file them as soon as possible, writes consumer reporter Iris Taylor, so that you can set up a repayment plan and move on with your life. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can pay them off (you can take up to 5 years to pay them), and the less you’ll end up paying in penalties and fees over the long run. [More]
Yesterday, the New York Times wrote about a judge in Arizona who forced Wells Fargo to explain why it keeps stalling and being uncooperative with a customer who has been trying to get a loan modification request approved. Sadly, in the past week we’ve gotten two separate emails from homeowners who are also having trouble with getting banks to approve their requests for the government-sponsored loan modifications. “Who can we contact to complain?” asks one frustrated customer.
After our post yesterday ended up crashing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ consumer information website, we received an email from them. They said they wanted to explain how the site works to address some reader questions, as well as point out that you too can contribute to the rankings by filing complaints when your insurer does something objectionable.
Here are three things you didn’t want to know: 1) The IRS doesn’t always conduct background checks on the employees contracted to handle your sensitive tax documents; 2) Those contracted employees regularly toss your sensitive tax documents into dumpsters without first shedding them; 3) The IRS doesn’t really know who’s in charge of conducting background checks on contracted employees, or who’s responsible for keeping your sensitive tax documents shredded and out of dumpsters. At least that’s what the Treasury Inspector General‘s office uncovered when it audited everyone’s favorite auditors.
Turbo Tax told reader I’m A Super that he needed to fill out an extra form to complete his state tax return, but wouldn’t tell him which form. Just to be safe, I’m A Super re-downloaded Turbo Tax only to get the same error message. When he called Intuit to ask about the mysterious form, he was that it was solely his responsibility to call the State Tax commission and to review his tax forms to make sure nothing was missing.
This year the IRS is letting each and every one of us file our taxes electronically free of charge. Didn’t the IRS already let all of us eFile our taxes for free, you ask? No. The IRS has a program called Free File, which provides free commercial tax help to anyone making less than $56,000 per year. This program, enticingly known as Free File Fillable Tax Forms, is different…
JK Harris & Company is a tax-relief company in South Carolina that promises to help people settle IRS debts for “pennies on the dollar” by helping them file an Offer in Compromise (OIC) on their behalf. What they didn’t tell consumers is that “the IRS accepts only a small number of these kinds of cases,” writes digtriad. What they also didn’t mention is that they’ll accept your money even if they know you won’t qualify for an OIC, and they won’t give refunds. “In many cases, JK Harris did not even apply to the IRS to help consumers as promised. But the company still refused to give those consumers their money back.” Now JK Harris has made an agreement with attorneys general in 18 states to change its advertising and pay $1.5 million in restitution.
If you’re single and earned less than 26,000 last year, or married and together made less than $52,000, then you can qualify for a tax credit of up to $1000 if you contributed to a retirement savings account during the year. To get the maximum credit, you’ll need to have socked away $2,000 and earned less than $15,500 as a single tax filer ($31,000 if married). And yes, this is a credit, not a deduction (something this writer has confused in the past), so it can make a significant difference on your final tax bill.
Today is the deadline to file your taxes if you got an extension back in April. File them.
Taxpayers directly impacted by the storm have until midnight April 19 to meet their tax filing obligations without incurring late filing and payment penalties.
Bankrate has 12 common and avoidable mistakes people make when filing their taxes.
•Delusion No. 1: If I put off filing until the last minute, I’ll have less chance of getting flagged for an audit amid the flood of deadline filers. “I don’t think so,” says Adams. “I’ve never heard that on either this side of the desk or the other.”