Deadline approaching for IRS tax filing; options available for free filing

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:
Tax documents. Photo via WINK News.
Tax documents. WINK News photo.

You’re running out of time to file your taxes. The deadline is April 18 and experts advise that you get them done as soon as you can.

It’s best to file before the deadline so you don’t get hit with any penalties. Plus, the IRS is still working on last year’s returns thanks to the pandemic.

Financial planner Joel Garris, CFP, says, if you’re just now getting to your taxes, don’t expect that refund anytime soon. And with staffing shortages calling may not help.

Garris, who is the President & CEO of Nelson Financial Planning said, “According to the latest statistics, there were 32 million phone calls that they have the capacity to answer in a given year. Last year, they got 250 million phone calls. So about 90 percent of the phone calls to the IRS simply go unanswered.”

This year, you’ll need to know how much money you got for your third stimulus check.

The IRS sent out Letter 6475 with the amount you received, or whether you need to claim a recovery rebate credit.

The agency also sent out Letter 6419 for the Child Tax Credits, where many people only received half last year and are now eligible for the other half.

“So, the other half could be as much as $1,500 to $1,800 per child,” Garris said. “Another misconception, no extra charitable donations can be written off. A standard deduction is $300 for singles and $600 if you’re filing jointly, but there is some wiggle room if the donations are made in cash.

“There’s an ability to write off donations to charity that is above and beyond your standard deduction,” he added. “And it can be a deduction of another $600 for a married couple.”

If you make less than $66,000 a year, you can file your taxes for free with United Way.

The IRS also has a number of free tax filing options depending on income level. Go to GetYourRefund or the IRS website to find a tax prep company.

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