Guide to filing your taxes in 2022 | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) payments

If you received era payments to cover lease, utilities, or home energy expenses in 2021 these payments are not considered taxable income and do not need to be declared on your tax come back. More information is available from the IRS

Getting ready to file

Depending on your position, there may be rid or low-cost options for filing your tax return. If you ’ re not preparing and filing your return yourself, it ’ randomness important to choose a reputable tax preparer that will file an accurate render. Any mistakes could result in extra costs and complications in the future including delays in receiving any tax refund.

You can get free tax homework aid by IRS-certified volunteers at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance ( VITA ) or a Tax guidance for the Elderly ( TCE ) location if :

  • Your income is $57,000 or less
  • You are 60 years old or older, or
  • You have a disability or speak limited English

Find rid VITA support on-line Find a VITA or TCE site in your residential district If you ’ re not eligible for VITA, TCE, or there ’ mho not a locate in your community, here are extra dislodge resources available for filing your tax refund :

  • If you earned less than $73,000 in 2021 and would like assistance so you can prepare and file your own return, you can get support with free tax preparation or software through MyFreeTaxes
  • If you’re a member of the military or a military dependent, you can get release tax help oneself from the military OneSource course of study
  • If you are not eligible to file at a VITA or TCE site, or if there is not a site nearby, there are also other free resources available for filing your tax return. If your income is more than $73,000, you can still download rid tax file forms through the IRS.

How to get your money

The quickest and safest way to receive your tax refund is through lead down payment. here are some things to think about before you file your return .

  • If you already have an account with a bank or credit union, make sure you have your information ready — including the account number and routing number — when you file your tax return. You can provide that information on the tax form and the IRS will automatically deposit the funds into your account
  • If you have a prepaid card that accepts direct deposit, you can also receive your refund on the card. Check with your prepaid card provider to get the routing and account number assigned to the card before you file your return.

Learn more about choosing the right postpaid card

  • If you don’t already have an account or a prepaid card, you could consider opening an account. Many banks and credit unions offer accounts with low (or no) monthly maintenance fees when you have direct deposit or maintain a minimum balance. These accounts may limit the types of fees you can incur and may also offer free access to in-network automated teller machines (ATMs). You can often open these accounts easily online.

Learn more about the FDIC ’ s # GetBanked campaign

Make a plan for your tax refund

Tax refunds each year much provide an opportunity for people to catch up on bills and even get ahead. With the increased tax benefits, you may be eligible for more money when you file in 2022, providing an opportunity to take care of immediate needs or study towards future goals. The CFPB has some resources to help you make a plan .

  1. Create a cash-flow budget . A cash-flow budget is all about tracking the timing of your income and expenses to make sure you have enough from week to week. Knowing what your normal income and expenses are and when they occur can help you think about how to use your tax refund to fill any gaps. For example, you may want to set aside a portion of your refund just so you have enough to pay the rent or the utility bills because they come due before you get your regular paycheck.
  2. Develop a debt action plan . Over the past two years many people have had to borrow money just to get by. And they may also have past debt they are struggling to pay. Picking a strategy to repay your debt can help you start reducing it and make progress toward achieving your goals. Once you identify all your debt obligations you can consider how your tax refund may help to pay down or even pay off one or more of your debts.
  3. Make a plan to save. If you feel in control of your cash flow, and your debt situation is looking better now may be the time to make a plan to save. You may want to consider setting aside a portion of your tax refund for unexpected expenses that often pop up throughout the year. If you still have money left over, you may want to think about saving for other longer-term goals such as your child’s education.
  4. Do something nice for yourself. It’s always good to think about the things you have always wanted but could never quite afford. If you can afford it consider using some of your tax refund to treat yourself or your family to something that will make you happy.

Watch out for scams

many people have received their advance CTC payments this year, but scammers are taking advantage of this raw platform by contacting people by phone, text, e-mail, and social media, and pretending to be the IRS, much sending people to a juke IRS web site. Learn more about CTC scams and how to avoid them Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to con people into giving up their money. During this clock time of doubt, knowing about potential victimize is a estimable first step toward preventing them Learn more about fraud and scams and how to avoid them

Submit a complaint

Having a trouble with a fiscal product or service ? We have answers to frequently asked questions and can help you connect with companies if you have a ailment.
Learn more about submitting a complaint

Questions about other financial services

If you have a question about other types of fiscal services you can find many answers at AskCFPB .

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