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What You Need to Know About Tax Season 2014
The tax season officially began on January 31 when the IRS opened their doors to accept tax returns. While tax-filing services say the weekends bad weather has kept their numbers lower than normal,
Liberty Tax Service was busy Sunday, helping those who stopped by.
"They actually started to test their system about four or five days ago, and as of the 31st, they have opened, so they started accepting everyone's returns and we're getting acknowledgements through now."
What you might not know is that the tax law changes each tax season.
"Every year, things change a little bit, one of the things, every year, that you see, are standard deductions, exemption amounts, things like that, go up every year. It has a lot to do with trending, inflation, things like that," said Liberty Tax Service General Manager Nicole Renfro.
One thing that has many people fretting over it has to do with the new health insurance law. Originally, citizens were going to be penalized for not having healthcare, but Renfro says, as far as your taxes are concerned, this year, there's no penalty associated with it. It kind of got off to a slow start, and so those penalties will start being assessed next year when you file."
Renfro explains the
benefit of filing early.
"The sooner you get it in, obviously, the sooner people get their refund," said Renfro.
"The way I feel, it's always better to do it sooner than later, than to get penalized," said Shannon King, a Springfield resident who looked to Liberty Tax for help with his taxes.
This was an appeal that brought in many people to Liberty Tax Services Sunday afternoon. Those who stopped in said it was well worth their time and money for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your taxes were done right.
"They know the ins and outs of the tax law and what is going on, what you can claim, what you can't claim, so that you don't set yourself up for an audit if you're not sure," said Renfro.
At Liberty Tax, they'll walk you through the paperwork.
"They know how to explain it, so it... helps out a lot," said Springfield resident Lanetta Eskew.
"They go over it and tell you what everything means and what they're taking out and what the fees are and it really helps out a lot," said King.
And that is key since no two tax returns are alike.
"Everyone's is unique, said Renfro, and then they can help you decide what's best for you, what's going to get you the best benefit."
Tax experts say you should hold on to your records and tax documents for seven years before disposing of them. The IRS can go back as far as they need to. Renfro said she's seen an audit go back as far as 10-15 years in search of answers, so make sure you are keeping track of your records and store them in a safe place.
Tax day is April 15th this year, but the experts really urge you to get your filing done early. They tell us, typically, folks with more complicated returns, and those who owe money, tend to wait. And, if its money youre worried about, at Liberty Tax, theyll give you an estimate free of charge.