Donell Edwards, Blogger
About Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service. He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.
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Know Your Money
Wednesday – April 15, 2015
Financial Literacy Month 2015
It’s Tax Day; Are You Ready?
By Donell Edwards
It’s tax day 2015; are you ready? Our attitude toward taxes and our approach to managing our tax liability can have either a positive or negative impact on our personal finances. If we have a nonchalant attitude about our taxes and do nothing to investigate how we may reduce our tax liability we will most likely pay more taxes than we should. On the other hand, if we do our due diligence and conduct extensive research ourselves to learn all of the options available to us to reduce our taxes, or if we work with a tax professional to determine what we can do to reduce our tax liability, then we will probably pay less in taxes.
The purpose of this post and all of our posts about taxes is not to encourage anyone to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Although there may be great debate over how tax dollars are used, it must be acknowledged that the government does use tax dollars to provide a variety of services that we all enjoy, and taxes are a necessity in order for our government to function effectively.
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Effectively managing our tax liability is a very, very important component in being successful in personal money management. In addition to working to help readers come to grips with their own destructive habits, to change the behavior and actions that contribute to those habits, to successfully monitor spending, to overcome the tendency to give in to the temptation to spend recklessly, and to get out of debt, one of our goals is to help readers keep more of their money. Finding ways to save on taxes is a significant part of the goal to keep more money.
Since today is tax day we want to urge you, our readers, to make sure that you get your taxes filed today if you have not already done so. One of the things that totally sets me off is creating expenses that could be avoided. Filing taxes late and incurring the needless penalty that results is one of those unnecessary expenses that I call “money burners” which we will devote an entire post to in the future. There is no reason for this because you can and should file taxes on time, or you can request an extension to ensure that you do not incur penalties and late fees. But by all means, make sure that you file.
If you need assistance filing your taxes, listed below is a list of places where you may get assistance. There are also many organizations that provide free assistance for low income and elderly individuals. We have also listed some of the top online services where you can file your taxes yourself online if you prepare your own taxes, some of which have online assistance. But the point is, make sure you get this done today if you have not already filed, and if you are mailing in your return the US Postal Service has extended hours today, just check with your local post office to find the location in your area where you can mail your return up until midnight.
By the way, if you are getting a refund, be money wise and don’t waste it. Here is a great article that that I recommend, entitled “10 Ways to Waste Your Tax Refund.” So, file your taxes before the deadline, and if you are getting a refund use it wisely.
TAX FILING ASSISTANCE
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $52,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. To locate the nearest VITA site near you, use the VITA or TCE Locator Tool (website below) or call 800-906-9887.
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS. To locate the nearest TCE site near you, use the VITA or TCE Locator Tool (website below) or call 800-906-9887.
Tax-Aide from AARP provides free tax preparation for people and are operated very similiarly to the VITA and Tax Counseling for the Elderly. You can find a local Tax-Aide site by calling, toll-free, 1-888-227-7669 or by visiting AARP.org/taxaide.
FREE Online Tax Filing Services:
Here is today’s step to financial wellness from Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness developed by Money Management International:
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Disclaimer: I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.
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