April 15th has come and gone. Did you file your tax return? Are you expecting a refund? If you have filed and your are expecting a refund, did you know that you are able to track the status of your tax return. Here’s a link to the IRS’ webpage which shows you how to track the status of your return: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp You will need to enter your social security number, but it (theoretically) is a secure site on the IRS’ website. According to the IRS, your refund status should be available 24 hours after your electronically filed tax return has been received by the IRS, or 4 weeks after you’ve mailed in your paper return.
What are you doing with your tax refund? My suggestion would be to invest it! (Shameless plug coming…) You might want to “invest” a few dollars in my book Investing for the Rest of Us. You can buy it at Amazon.com or if you’d like to learn more about it, click here for more information.
While this may have been a short promo for my book, I feel that you REALLY need to plan for your retirement and if you have received a windfall from the government in the way of a tax return, why not take a large portion of that and invest it for your future?! Sure, take a small portion out and have some fun, but make sure to use the bulk of it to either pay down bills (especially credit card debt) or invest it. OK, shameless plug over, now back to your tax return…
Conversely, if you have not as yet filed your tax return, here are a few tips from the IRS:
• File as soon as you can. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can. This will help minimize the interest and penalty charges. There is no penalty for filing a late return if you are due a refund.
• IRS Free File is your best option. Everyone can use IRS Free File to e-file their federal taxes for free. If your income was $58,000 or less, you can use free brand-name software. If you made more than $58,000 and are comfortable preparing your own tax return, use Free File Fillable Forms to e-file. This program uses the electronic versions of paper IRS forms. IRS Free File is available through Oct. 15 only through IRS.gov.
• IRS E-file is still available. IRS e-file is available through Oct. 15. E-file is the easiest, safest and most accurate way to file your taxes. With e-file you receive confirmation that the IRS received your tax return. If you e-file and choose direct deposit of your refund, you’ll normally get it within 21 days.
• Pay as much as you can. If you owe tax but can’t pay it all at once, try to pay as much as you can when you file your tax return. Pay the remaining balance as soon as possible to stop further penalties and interest.
• Make a payment agreement online. If you need more time to pay your taxes, you can apply for a payment plan with the IRS. The easiest way to apply is to use the IRS Online Payment Agreement tool. You can also mail Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. The tool and form are both available on IRS.gov.
• A refund may be waiting. If you’re due a refund, you should file as soon as possible to get it. Even if you are not required to file, you may still get a refund. This could apply if you had taxes withheld from your wages or you qualify for certain tax credits. If you don’t file your return within three years, you could forfeit your right to the refund.
For more information, visit IRS.gov.