IRS extended Tax Day, but early filing is often better

Runnels County Register

BBB of Abilene and the Big Country Tip: IRS extended Tax Day, but early filing is often better

The Abilene BBB says that filing taxes is often better than filing later, even with the extended deadline.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended Tax Day for individuals to May 17, 2021, including individuals who pay self-employment tax (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-for-individuals-extended-to-may-17-treasury-irs-extend-filing-and-payment-deadline). In addition, the IRS announced that victims of Texas’ winter storm have until June 15, 2021 to file individual and business tax returns (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/victims-of-texas-winter-storms-get-deadline-extensions-and-other-tax-relief). Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds and it can help taxpayers receive any remaining stimulus payments more quickly.

According to John Riggins, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Abilene and the Big Country: “The best way to avoid tax identity theft is to keep your information secure and file your taxes as early as possible, before a scammer has the chance to use your information to file a fake return. Only deal with trustworthy tax preparation services. Not all tax preparers have the same level of experience and training” (https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/21492-bbb-tip-how-to-choose-a-tax-preparer). Also, remember: “The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or text message. Make sure you are dealing with the real IRS when filing or inquiring. If you are the victim of tax identity theft in the U.S., contact the IRS at 800-908-4490. The Federal Trade Commission, also, offers a personalized identity theft recovery plan at identitytheft.gov.”

Clark Howard (https://clark.com/), popular consumer expert, shares the following tax tips to save you “frustration, worry and money:”

File Your Taxes Early. Deadlines sneak up on you and a tax deadline is one you do not want to miss.

Not only will doing your taxes early take away stress by giving you time to check your filing; it also helps prevent tax identity fraud, where someone files a false return in your name.

File Your Taxes for Free, if You Can. While it will not be wise in every situation, those with simple tax situations can file their taxes for free at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free. TurboTax, also, offers free services for some.

To find accredited tax preparers, go to bbb.org. To report a scam, go to bbb.org/scamtracker. To read more about scams, go to https://www.bbb.org/us/tx/abilene.