Tax Time and New Year’s Savings
Tax season is swiftly upon us and soon taxpayers will be preparing to file their taxes and plan for their refunds. The IRS estimates that 20 percent of taxpayers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) fail to claim it, which could mean the difference between getting ahead or staying in the red in 2017. The added complication to this common oversight is that new tax law will prevent the IRS from issuing refunds that claim the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit before February 15. Making sure that taxpayers are aware of the credits and assistance available to them, as well as the impact that delays may have on their refund plans has never been more important.
Please share the article, social media content, and resources provided with your constituents, your partners, and the general public. As always, please encourage individuals to take the Military Saves Pledge—an important step in creating a plan to reach their savings or debt reduction goals. After all, those with a plan are more likely to achieve their goals!
In This Packet:
For use in communications that directly reach your constituents. We encourage you to use its contents as a guest post, or rewrite it as your own.
3 Ways to Find More Money To Save This Tax Season
Tax filing season is upon us once again, an opportunity to assess your financial situation, set goals for the year, and find ways to save towards those goals. Here are three easy ways to save money this tax season and get a jumpstart on your savings goals in the New Year:
- Check Your Withholdings to Find More Money in Your Paycheck
Do you receive a large tax refund every year? If yes, check your tax withholdings and adjust those withholdings to match the number of dependents in your household to receive more money back in your paycheck throughout the year. Receiving a large tax refund is essentially giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan on your money, so now’s the time to look twice at your refund strategy.
To start, check that the number of your dependents match the number of dependents in your Leave and Earning Statement (or LES) on MyPay? If not, consider adjusting your withholdings. For example, a married servicemember with two children can claim four dependents, including himself or herself.
Run the numbers on online calculators, such as suburbancomputer.com to see how these changes might impact your paycheck. If receiving a large tax refund (or whatever refund you do receive) during tax season works for you, save a portion of your refund with SaveYourRefund to be entered for a chance to win up to $25,000 in cash prizes! For more information and to learn how to commit to saving prior to start of tax season, visit saveyourrefund.com . Then, take the Military Saves Pledge to identify a goal for that savings.
- See if You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
Servicemembers and families should not overlook the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), “a refundable federal income tax credit for low- and moderate-income working individuals, couples and families.” The IRS estimates that about 20 percent of taxpayers who are eligible for the EITC fail to claim it, or are simply unaware that they qualify. If you qualify for this tax credit, the money you receive from it may be used to fund your savings goal! Take note of these three things:
- You can’t get the EITC unless you file a federal tax return and claim it. Visit irs.gov to determine your eligibility and get additional information.
- If this is the first year that you are claiming the credit, use the IRS EITC Assistant to see if you qualify for tax years 2015, 2014, and 2013. You can file any time during the year to claim an EITC refund for up to three previous tax years. Talk about a bonus!
- The IRS cannot issue refunds before February 15, 2017 for tax returns that claim the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t file when you normally would. Early filers can make the most of this delay by planning to save that refund and avoiding refund anticipation products, offered by commercial tax preparers. Although they loan the amount of your tax refund to you quickly, the fees will have you seeing red, so filers beware!
- File Your Taxes for FREE
If your tax return is pretty straightforward, consider using your installation’s free tax filing service. To contact your installation’s tax center, visit the official source for installation and state resources available to you.
Military OneSource is also available to eligible servicemembers to help with online assistance, resources, and filing.
Set yourself up for financial readiness in 2017 by being aware of these three ways to find and save more money this tax season to achieve your goals. When it comes to saving, every dollar counts!
Alecia D. Blair works for Military Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.
Share the following messages with your followers.
You could win $25,000 for saving $50 of your tax refund with @SaveYourRefund: http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of tax time scams: http://bit.ly/2iHRua3 @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
Millions miss out on EITC $$ b/c they don't claim it or don't file taxes at all: http://bit.ly/2hX4Hrl @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
Your #taxrefund will continue to grow if you put it into savings or retirement: http://bit.ly/2jap85c @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
A #taxrefund can provide an opportunity to improve your financial situation: http://bit.ly/2jap85c @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
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Do you have a tip about saving at tax time? Share it with @AmericaSaves and you could win $25 >> http://bit.ly/2hZ6e1m @MilitarySaves
#Taxrefunds (incl. EITC + ACTC) are NOT considered income for those w/public benefits. @RealEconImpact @MilitarySaves
.@MyFreeTaxes = free tax prep + filing help for qualified ppl w/combined income of $62k or less >> http://bit.ly/2hZ1d9c v/ @MilitarySaves
A new tax law will delay refunds that claim the EITC or ACTC until Feb. 15: http://bit.ly/2hTPLyb v/ @AmericaSaves @MilitarySaves
Do you need to file a tax return in 2017? This #BetterMoneyHabits video can help you find out: http://bit.ly/2hU8smo @MilitarySaves
Your emergency savings can help you win big this tax season w/ @SaveYourRefund: http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves
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Have questions about how to file taxes in your 20s? Here are 6 easy steps from #BetterMoneyHabits: http://bit.ly/2iH8ICq @MilitarySaves
Let @MilitarySaves help you stay committed to your tax time #savings goal! Take the pledge today: http://bit.ly/2an9Bwa
Share the following resources with your audience and with partnering organizations.
From Military Saves
- Be Money Wise at Tax Time: 5 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely
- Beware of These 5 Tax-Season Scams
- Don't Leave Your Money On The Table This Tax Season
- Earned Income Tax Credit: What Military Families Should Know
- Four Tax Time Tips for the Savvy Investor
- Getting Ahead With Your Tax Refund
- How Can You Save Money During Tax Time? It’s “EZ” – File the Return Yourself or Use FREE Resources
- How to Protect Yourself from Tax Scams
- Leaving the Military = Losing Tax Breaks
- Prepare for Military Life's Surprises...With Your Tax Return
- Six Financial Decisions that Deserve Your Attention Before and After Deployment
- Top Five Tax Breaks to Ease the Burden for Military Servicemembers
- Two Ways Tax Scammers Might Target You
- Use Your Tax Refund to Kick-Start an Emergency Fund
Resources + Research
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Increasing saving at tax time and promising practices for the field
- Resources for tax preparers
- Use tax time to save
- Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free
- Free File Fillable Forms
- Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers
- Tax Information for Students
- Where’s My Refund?
- my RA – US Department of the Treasury
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- Written by Tammy G. Bruzon
- Category: Uncategorised
- Published: 12 January 2017