Tax Time Savings
Tax season is swiftly upon us and soon taxpayers will be preparing to file their taxes and planning 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 2018. 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 in this partner packet 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!
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3 Ways to Save More Money 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:
1. 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 may indicate that you're giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan on your money, so now's the time to take a second look 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 service member 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 $10,000 in cash prizes!
2. See if You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit Service members and families should not overlook the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), "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. It's one of the reasons you should always file your taxes, even if you don't think you owe or will receive money. 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 2017, 2016, and 2015. 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 mid-Feb, 2018 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!
3. 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 service members to help with online assistance, resources, and filing.
Set yourself up for financial fitness in 2018 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 is the Director of Military Saves, a nonprofit program, 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.
Commit to save a portion of your tax refund and share your savings goal, and you could win one of 102 prizes up to $10,000 with @SaveYourRefund >> http://bit.ly/2CEYMWj h/t @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Jump-start your savings with your tax refund. Check out these tax refund tips from @USAAEF >> http://bit.ly/2lW2LU6 #SavingsTipTuesday
Saving for a rainy day? Put your tax refund into emergency savings: http://bit.ly/2jargdi via @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Get some much needed relief. Apply your tax refund to your outstanding debt: http://bit.ly/2jap85c @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
Take advantage of free tax help for military families >> http://bit.ly/2E83IA9 via @FINRAFoundation #SavingsTipTuesday
Saving even $50 of your tax refund can make all the difference. @SaveYourRefund: http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
The IRS will never send unsolicited messages to taxpayers, and it doesn't ask for passwords, PINs or other personal information. >> http://bit.ly/2EYDnWs #SavingsFactFriday
Claiming EITC is not as complicated as you might think. Visit the IRS website to find out if you are eligible >> http://bit.ly/2CrsomK #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
Free tax help and free tax preparation are available in person and online: http://bit.ly/2hXbHnX @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
Do you have a tip about saving at tax time? Share it with @AmericaSaves and you could win $25 >> http://bit.ly/2hZ6e1m
@MyFreeTaxes = free tax prep + filing help for qualified people w/combined income of $64k or less >> http://bit.ly/2qU9PGk v/ @MilitarySaves
Do you need to file a tax return in 2018? 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
After splitting your refund w/Form 8888, all you need is 93 seconds to enter @SaveYourRefund! http://bit.ly/2i8VJvC @MilitarySaves
Let @MilitarySaves help you stay committed to your tax-time #savings goal! Take the pledge today: http://bit.ly/2an9Bwa
Opting into the new #BlendedRetirement System in 2018? Use your 2017 tax refund to help fund your retirement savings goals >> http://bit.ly/2lscEY4
Share the following resources with your audience and with partnering organizations.
FINRA Investor Education Foundation:
USAA Educational Foundation:
- 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 Service Members
- Two Ways Tax Scammers Might Target You
- Use Your Tax Refund to Kick-Start an Emergency Fund
Resources + Research
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- FTC Military Consumer
- 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?
- Written by Lani Poblete
- Category: Uncategorised
- Published: 12 January 2018