Taxes

Today is the Deadline…

money-256288_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day:

Today is the last day to file your taxes. Here’s some info on what to do if you plan to file today: How You Can File Taxes Online at the Last Minute—for Free.

And remember, if you DON’T t make it by today’s deadline, be sure to ask for an extension TODAY. This will give you up to an additional six months to file your return. Any taxes owed will still be due - with late payment penalties added on. But an extension WILL save you from having to pay the late filing penalty too. The article tells you how to request an extension as well.

Success Tip: Communicate When You Can’t Pay (on Time)

cropped 700x755.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

Happy Monday! I hope your week is starting off well. As we begin the month of April, this is my friendly reminder to finish up filing your taxes by 4/17 (if you haven’t yet).  I filed my taxes for this year the other day and feel such a great sense of relief knowing it’s done for the year! And within plenty of time. I paid a skilled tax preparer/CPA to do my return since I also filed for my business and want to make sure it’s correct.

If you think that you won’t be ready to file by 4/17, request an extension. This automatically allows you an extra 6 months to file. If you’re not sure how they work/how to do that, check out this article: The Pros and Cons of Filing a Tax Extension.  While filing extensions won’t change your tax bill and penalties due (if any), they will prevent you from ALSO having to pay a late filing penalty too.

One of the key success tips that I always share with clients is: always stay in communication with creditors when you are unable to pay for ANY reason. It’s always easier to work out an alternate payment arrangement when you let them know ahead of time that you can’t pay. Once you miss the due date, then you usually lose all options for negotiating and the negative consequences of non-payment kick in.

I have found - in my work and through personal experience - that almost ALL companies are willing to work with you if you let them know in ADVANCE when you’re having trouble paying.

By the way, if you happen to have a straightforward return, and would like to take advantage of free tax filing services, be sure to check out my quick training where I explain several available options here.

3 Weeks & Counting: How You Can Still Save Big...

5 Ways to Save $ Filing Your Taxes Webinar Screenshot.jpg

Hi there! I’m here with a friendly reminder that we have just 3 weeks left to file taxes this year (due April 17th). Are you still stressing over getting your taxes done this year? Imagine if you could have confidence that they were filed by a certified tax pro and all for FREE? Imagine what you could do with all the money you usually spend on filing your taxes? How would it feel to know that your taxes were filed on time, done right, AND that you saved lots of money doing them? Instead of stress, imagine the peace of mind you’d have knowing they’re ALL taken care of this year.

If you STILL haven’t filed your taxes, check out “5 Ways to Save Money Filing Your Taxes.” In it, I tell you where to go so you don’t have to search all over for an IRS approved certified tax pro. Plus, you can stop worrying about how much your taxes will cost/how EXPENSIVE they are. I also tell you how you can potentially save HUNDREDS of dollars or even pay NOTHING to file your taxes.

Make it easy on yourself. Don’t wait until the last minute. Get the info you need you need NOW to file your taxes - stress-free - in my short and quick FREE training. Get instant access (plus a Bonus Gift) here “5 Ways to Save Money Filing Your Taxes."

Find Out Your Bottom Line BEFORE Filing Your Taxes

beautiful-15704_1920.jpg

It’s me again with another tax filing tip for you. Got taxes heavy on the brain right now. Don’t most of us? This is a trick that I use every year. Since my tax situation has varied quite a bit over the past few years, I always try to get an idea of my bottom line before I actually file.

The good news is that because so many companies are vying for our business each year, there are a bunch offering to electronically file your federal return for FREE (and in some cases, your state taxes too). All the major tax filing companies offer this for free through the IRS’ website. Get the details here: Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

So, to see if I’ll be getting a refund, or if I’ll owe, I plug my information into TWO different free file programs to see if they come up with the same or very similar results. If they do, then I feel fairly confident about what to expect that year. If I’ll be getting money back, I file asap (Yep. Just like you.). And if I owe money, I typically wait longer to plan out how to pay it (Again, just like you. Chuckle).

Give it a try. Try plugging in your information before you actually file to see what your bottom line will probably be. If you happen to have investment or business income, a mortgage, etc. (or a more complex situation), I suggest skipping this step completely. Rather than inaccurately plugging in any information and getting the wrong results, just leave all of that up to the tax experts.

However, if you have a fairly simple return with employment income, student loans, etc., and are a renter, this is a pretty good option for you. And honestly, it’s NOT as hard as you think. Really. The programs do most of the work for you. If you think this would be too hard for you - or just plain ole’ too boring -  ask a trusted, more-financially-and-computer savvy loved one to do it for you.

It’s an excellent way to know what to probably expect WAY before you sit down to file your taxes this year. And the more (and sooner) you know how your taxes will affect your money, the better you can plan the rest of your year. You’ll have a much better idea of whether you’ll have splurge money for that trip to Jamaica this year, or if you’ll need to focus on pulling in some extra money from your gigs. 

About Yolanda Ransom

Yolanda Ransom is a financial educator, speaker and workshop trainer who teaches clients to confidently master their money so that they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is the CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting and provides transformational financial literacy training. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at her website yolandaransom.com

Pay Your Tax Bill: Without All the Stress

people-2590813_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

While for many tax season will result in receiving a refund, many may find that they owe additional tax. I’ve been there. And while finding out that you need to pay even more in taxes than you expected can be quite stressful, distressing and frustrating, the one thing that you DO NOT want to do is “ignore” your tax bill.

It’s really easy to feel scared and overwhelmed when you feel financially stretched or don’t know where you’re going to find the money to pay it.

In my one-on-one work with clients, I often met with individuals who received notices of money owed and did nothing about it. That is the WORST thing you can do. Remember that saying, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes” (Benjamin Franklin)? Well, it’s basically true. It’s not worth it to try to run from a tax bill. It WILL catch you. Whether through levies, garnishments, or far worse…

So, let’s just skip ALL of that and go the peaceful route, okay? When filing your taxes this year, if this is your situation, just nip it in the bud by agreeing to pay your bill asap.

While filing your federal return, you can sign up for an installment plan if you can’t pay the full amount all at once: What Is the Minimum Monthly Payment for an IRS Installment Plan?  I’ve done this before and it’s one of the most manageable and stress-free ways to pay it off. Plus, you can set up auto pay to deduct the money automatically to ensure that you take care of it. Most states also have tax payment installment plans too. Check with yours. Here’s more info about payment plans  from the IRS website: IRS Tax Payment Installment Plans.

And don’t forget – you can always pay MORE than the amount you elect to pay each month. You can pay it off EARLY and be done with it.

That’s what I did. After setting up my installment plan, my income greatly increased the next year and I paid way more than my payment plan amount. I was able to pay my bill off in a few large lump payments. True financial peace of mind!

Save Big Bucks by Filing Your Taxes…at the Library

public-library-1401218_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

Did you know that many libraries offer FREE in-person tax filing and assistance? During tax season, the New York Public Library hosts several organizations that will help you file your taxes in-person and/or offer tax guidance.

You can potentially save HUNDREDS of dollars on filing your return.

Get the details here: Tax Assistance at the Library.

Keep in mind, the service is typically “first come, first serve,” and slots can fill up super-fast in a day. I suggest calling ahead to the library to find out the process and eligibility requirements before going there.

Even if you don’t happen to live in New York City, your public library may offer a similar program. Just search “free tax help at library” to locate information about your local  branch.

Set Yourself Up For Saving Success

piggybank-2913293_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

For the past couple of weeks, the flurry of W2s and tax documents began arriving in our emails and mailboxes – and will continue to for the next few weeks. Tax filing time is upon us! And while my tax situation varies from year-to-year, many of us have typically come to expect a refund based on our tax situation. If you typically receive a refund and have no savings built up, now is the ideal time to change that. In my blog post How to Save $400 For An Emergency Here & Now, I discussed the Federal Reserve’s report stating that many people couldn’t come up with $400 for an emergency if needed.

If this hits home for you, resolve this year to save half (or at least $400) of your tax refund this year – no matter what. Even if you have debt! Why? Waiting to pay off debt before you begin saving leaves you financially vulnerable. If it takes years to pay off your debt, you’re left with no safety net that entire time. Think of it as starting to save for your dream. Or to give yourself peace of mind before the next emergency. And you’ll still get to spend the rest of your refund as planned (on new clothes, a new phone, etc.)

So, this year when you gather up all your tax forms, make sure to include your savings account information.  Have it ready when you file your taxes. And once you see your refund amount, set up half (or at least $400) for automatic deposit into your savings account. Remove the temptation factor. Isn’t that best, anyway? The less we touch it, the more likely the money will end up where we planned. Right? Set yourself up for saving success this year by using some of your refund to jump start your savings into your next dream/emergency fund.

Now, doesn’t that sound easy?

P.S. - Sign up for more money mindset shift inspiration and practical tips to help you achieve your financial dreams at http://eepurl.com/c2D_Sz

FREE Tax Prep Option

taxes-806396_640.jpg

Financial Tip of the Day

That time of year is about to roll around again... Ah yes, TAX time.

If you 1) earned less than $64,000 last year, AND 2) are comfortable self-filing, then you may want to check out this FREE electronic filing option: https://www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes

H&R Block has partnered with United Way to provide FREE filing. If eligible, you can file both federal and state returns for free – thus saving you lots of cash on tax prep! If so, Happy filing!