To quote Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Guess what? Tax time is rolling around again. This year taxes are due on April 17 since the traditional tax day of April 15 falls on a Saturday.
Though taxes and tax preparation get a bad rap for being complicated, a variety of options and resources exist to make completing your tax return easy and inexpensive here in the Fairbanks area.
Check the Internal Revenue Service website, which has an option to do free filing on the website. The IRS has partnered with several different income tax programs to provide free federal and tax filing software online. Just go to www.irs.gov and select one of the programs for filing. You’ll recognize many of the company names such as H&R Block and TurboTax. It is a free service as long as your income is under $64,000.
If you have a few questions as you are working through the necessary forms, take advantage of the IRS Interactive Assistant. Go to www.irs.com/search?query=interactive+tax+assistant and all the answers are right on the site.
MyFreeTaxes is an online program funded by the United Way and developed by H&R Block. It’s free to those with incomes of $64,000 or less. If you don’t have a computer available to use for filing, drop by the Fairbanks Job Center or the Noel Wien or North Pole libraries to use their computers.
I’ve been using Credit Karma to keep up with my credit score and now I see that it has a brand new tax section. It is free to everyone, regardless of income. The financial services company has a complete list on the front page of all the forms and schedules you can use.
If you are like me and want someone to help you file your taxes, there are also options for you. We have IRS-certified volunteers who will help you do your taxes here in the community. The Tax-Aide program is available at the Fairbanks Senior Center by appointment. Call 452-1735 to set up an appointment. There will also be Tax-Aide volunteers available at the Noel Wien Library Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. Their services are free as long as your income falls under the $64,000 level.
Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP), accounting students from UAF, will be offering tax preparation assistance on selected Saturdays. Come to the Bunnell Building on the UAF campus, Room 319, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 11, March 25, April 1 and April 8.
If you are working with any of our volunteer organizations, be sure to bring your tax documentation as well as a Social Security card and some type of identification. Identity fraud is so widespread that our volunteer organizations are doing their part in making sure you are who you say you are.
No matter how you choose to file, make sure you have all your records in order to correctly complete the returns. The tax man cometh — get ready.