Fear of April 15th
If 2009 was rough, and you're afraid that you may owe the IRS money—money you don't have—the answer is not to play hooky on tax day. Between stimulus package tax credits and a possible refund, you may be in better shape than you think.
Take the credit
- Use an online tax estimator to get a ballpark of your actual tax situation. What if it's not so bad? Most Americans get refunds, and this year the average refund is about $3,000, according to the IRS.
- That stimulus package was a massive undertaking, and the government does not want you to miss out on a single dime. Use this nifty Recovery Act Tax Saving Tool on the White House website to see which tax breaks you can grab.
- If you can't file on time, use Form 4868 to get an automatic extension of the deadline to October 15. You don't need a reason, just send it in.
If the IRS owes you a refund, there are no penalties to extend. But if you owe money, and can't send a check with the form, you will be charged penalties and interest. Then again, you have six months to comb through your taxes and claim every tax break possible!
Never assume the worst about your finances. It's stressful, and you can lose out on some real benefits. Remember, you're in charge.
How are you surviving tax season? Share on DailyWorth.com.
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