Tax Tips for the 2015 Filing Season

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

Save Money by Filing Electronically

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

· An online version of the paper return is available toall taxpayers regardless of their income level. Using the online form takesless time than filling out a paper return and it offers the comfort of filingfrom one’s own home as opposed to having to spend money on fuel to go to a taxpreparation office.

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

Budget Cuts Mean Longer Waiting Times

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

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

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

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