Tax Tips for the 2015 Filing Season

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially began accepting tax returns on January 20th for the 2014 tax season. The IRS has issued several statements to let taxpayers know that this year may be one of the most frustrating yet. Many Americans have faced the harsh reality that while trying to find answers to their tax questions, they find a combination of tax myths vs tax facts. It’s imperative that those filing have the facts on the latest tax codes and adjustments in order to file correctly. While filing taxes may be a time of confusion, people can ensure that filing goes smoothly as long as they follow the rules and have the correct information to go by when filing.

Save Money by Filing Electronically

There are many people that file paper returns each year, but the IRS suggests that people file electronically. Most people do file electronically now. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of filers opt for electronic filing instead of filing by paper. Filing electronically takes less time for processing and is especially good since the IRS is understaffed due to budget cuts this year. It also offers a more accurate way to file as because filers that choose to e-file tend to make fewer mistakes on their return. While people can choose Tax Preparation software from companies like Turbo Tax, H&R Block and others, the IRS Free File program has two filing options that are free for taxpayers to use.

· An online version of the paper return is available to all taxpayers regardless of their income level. Using the online form takes less time than filling out a paper return and it offers the comfort of filing from one’s own home as opposed to having to spend money on fuel to go to a tax preparation office.

· The IRS has software that is available to all taxpayers with income levels that are equal to or less than $60,000. This software is available via private sector partners and it provides access to more than 100 million families nationwide.

Budget Cuts Mean Longer Waiting Times

For the 2014 tax filing season, budget cuts approved through Congress are giving the IRS the smallest level of funding that they have seen since the year 2008. Currently they have had more than $5 billion less to spend than they had in 2008. This means that there are roughly more than 10,000 fewer IRS employees to answer the phone lines, process tax returns and issue refunds to those that qualify.

In previous years those that have called the IRS during tax season have experienced long wait times and frustration over limited information when they do reach a representative. When people try to call the IRS this tax season they can expect even longer wait times on the phones. People should note that in previous years, more than 100 million people throughout the United States tried to contact the IRS by telephone and less than half of those are able to get through to a live representative this tax season.

The IRS strongly recommends that taxpayers utilize the Where’s My Refund application on the IRS website to check the status of their tax return and to handle tax issues. They also suggest to file electronically to reduce wait time on processing and refunds. 

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