By Nikia Owens, Ph.D.
The tax season can be complex, with various rules and deadlines to consider. As we approach the 2024 tax season, here are the top ten crucial points that people should be aware of, especially when considering the Campaign for Working Families and general tax preparation:
- Start Date for Tax Filing: The IRS opens the tax season on January 22nd for the 2024 tax season; it is essential to be prepared to start filing, especially if you expect a refund and want to receive it promptly.
- Tax Filing Deadline: Monday, April 15, is the deadline for filing taxes; however, you can file for an extension to avoid penalties for late filing.
- Updates to Tax Laws: Be aware of any changes in the tax code that could affect your filings. This includes adjustments to tax brackets, deductions, and credits. The IRS updates policies regarding standard deductions and retirement contribution limits, and if you have questions, call CWF’s Call Center at (215)454-6483.
- Gathering Necessary Documents: Ensure you have all the required documents ready, including W-2s, 1099s, and receipts for deductible expenses.
- Understanding Available Tax Credits: Familiarize yourself with tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and Education Credits. These can significantly reduce your tax liability or even result in a refund.
- Importance of Accurate Filings: Ensure all the information you submit is accurate to avoid delays in processing your return or receiving your refund. Mistakes can lead to audits or penalties.
- Consider Professional Help: If your tax situation is complex, consider seeking help from a tax professional. The Campaign for Working Families offers FREE tax preparation services for eligible individuals and families. If we are unable to serve your tax needs, we will connect you with a qualified service.
- Filing Electronically: Electronic filing is typically faster and more secure than paper filing. It can also result in receiving your refund more quickly, especially if you opt for a direct deposit.
- Beware of Tax Scams: Be vigilant about protecting your personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text, or social media to request personal or financial information. Be cautious of scams during tax season.
- Extensions and Payment Plans: If you cannot file by the deadline, you can request an extension, which usually gives you until October 15th. However, if you owe taxes, you still need to pay by the April deadline to avoid penalties and interest. The IRS offers payment plans for those who cannot pay their tax bill in full.
Remember, staying informed and prepared is key to navigating the tax season smoothly. For the most accurate and personalized advice, consider Campaign for Working Families or utilizing resources provided by the IRS.