Money Monday - More Than Half of Americans Still Haven't Filed Their Taxes

Mon, Mar 19th, 2018

Money Monday – More Than Half of Americans Still Haven't Filed Their Taxes

There are 56% of Americans that still haven't filed their tax returns, and while there are still a few weeks left before the deadline, you should know that there are benefits to filing early. Here are two big ones to consider.

 1. You'll get your refund sooner

Roughly 80% of tax filers end up getting a refund each year, and if you're one of them, filing your return early could mean getting your hands on that cash sooner. The average refund last year was close to $2,800, wouldn't you rather collect interest on that sum rather than allow the government to do so?

2. You never know when you might end up owing money

Though the majority of tax filers wind up with a refund each year, there are inevitably a large number of people who will owe the IRS money. If you file your taxes precisely at the deadline and discover you owe and you don't have that money in savings, you'll face penalties for paying the IRS late. Charge that tax bill on a credit card, and you'll risk racking up more interest than the IRS itself will charge you.  On the other hand, if you prepare your tax return several weeks in advance, you'll have more time to come up with that money. You might manage to sell some belongings, pick up extra shifts at work, or devise some sort of plan to pay your bill on time and avoid interest and penalties. But if you wait until the actual deadline, you'll be out of options in the absence of having that money in savings.  Keep in mind that you're allowed to file a tax return early and pay your bill later. As long as the IRS gets its cash by the deadline, it doesn't matter that it's been sitting on your return for weeks, so you really have nothing to lose by doing your taxes now.

One final thing: If you're not preparing your own taxes, many tax preparers find themselves completely booked in late March and April.  So, if you're planning to enlist outside help, you really shouldn’t wait any longer.  If you need tax preparation assistance call Center For Siouxland's VITA program at 712-252-1861 ext. 11 to set up an appointment to get your taxes prepared and e-filed for FREE!


Center For Siouxland's FREE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

Sat, Mar 17th, 2018

Center For Siouxland's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers FREE tax help to people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities 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. Schedulers in our office are now taking and returning calls for appointments.  For more information or to schedule an appointment call 712-252-1861 ext. 11.


Money Monday - How to Update Your W-4 Now That the Tax Cuts Have Taken Effect

Mon, Mar 12th, 2018

Money Monday - How to Update Your W-4 Now That the Tax Cuts Have Taken Effect

The past month or so, you probably noticed a slight increase in your pay thanks to the recent tax cuts. You may want to ensure that your employer is withholding the right amount from your paycheck. On March 1, the IRS released an updated tax withholding calculator designed to help employees estimate their 2018 tax liability and—if needed—make changes to the withholding elections on their W-4.

Middle income earners should take home about $900 more this year compared to 2017. So, either you’ll owe money or you could have more money now.

Here’s the information you’ll need at hand to use the calculator:

  • Your income (and your spouse’s)
  • Your latest pay stub
  • How much you’re contributing to a tax-deferred retirement account, like a 401(k)
  • How much you’re contributing to pre-tax plans like health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, long-term and short-term disability coverage, etc.
  • Your most recent tax return
  • Documents related to other sources of income, if you have any

Here's a shortcut to the IRS withholding calculator.  Answer the calculator’s questions, and it will tell you how your W-4 should be filled in. Update that info with your human resources department, and you’ll be all set.

If you need assistance with budgeting or finances Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors can help!  Call 712-252-1861 ext. 47 for information.  If you need to get your income tax done, don’t forget Center For Siouxland’s VITA program has tax preparers available that will prepare and e-file your taxes for FREE.  Call 712-252-1861 ext. 11 to talk to one of our VITA schedulers for more information or for an appointment.


Money Monday - Want to Know Where Your State Tax Refund is?

Mon, Mar 5th, 2018

Money Monday - Want to Know Where Your State Tax Refund is? 
Last week we showed you how to check on your Federal Tax Refund, want to know about your state tax refund as well? Click your state on the list below and look for either “Where’s my refund?” or “Check the status of my refund” on your state’s website.  Like the IRS tool, be prepared to enter your Social Security number and the refund amount you’re expecting.  If you haven't had your taxes done this year call Center For Siouxland's VITA schedulers at 712-252-1861 ext. 11 to set up an appointment for FREE tax preparation.


Money Monday - Where's My Money? How to Check the Status of your Federal Tax Refund

Tue, Feb 27th, 2018

Money Monday - Where's My Money?  How to Check the Status of your Federal Tax Refund

If you’ve filed your federal tax return already, you may be checking your bank account frequently to see if your refund has been deposited yet.  According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), more than nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days, with e-file and direct deposit helping to speed up the process.

You don’t have to guess when you’ll receive your money. The IRS has a tool called “Where’s My Refund?” that lets you track your return as it’s received, approved and sent.  You can check your refund status within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return or four weeks after you mail a paper return.  To access this tool, visit and click “Check My Refund Status.” You can also track a refund using the IRS2Go app, which is available for download from the App Store or Google Play.  Whether you use the website or app, you must enter your Social Security number, filing status and refund amount.  The IRS says that the system is updated every 24 hours, usually overnight, and it will provide a personalized refund date once your refund has been processed and approved.

Remember that getting a big refund means you’ve overpaid your taxes all year and didn’t have access to that money.  The solution?  Work with your payroll department to adjust your withholding so you approach being tax-neutral next year — meaning that you get as close as possible to not owing additional money and not getting a refund either.

Follow Center For Siouxland’s Facebook and website, watch for instructions on how to check the status of your State Tax Refund.


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