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How to electronically file taxes for free, get free assistance

The IRS is reminding taxpayers that earn up to $72,000 a year that there are free electronic filing services.
Tax Season Begins
Posted at 1:53 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 16:57:46-05

If you think you need to pay for tax preparation services, there is a good chance it is not necessary. The IRS released tips on Tuesday for tax payers to save money on tax preparation and assistance.

The IRS is reminding taxpayers that earn up to $72,000 a year that there are free electronic filing services. The IRS says that it can process nine out of 10 refunds via direct deposit within 21 days.

Taxpayers who earn more than $72,000 a year can still take advantage of the IRS’ electronic forms, but would have to fill by paper.

There are also free filing options for active duty and some veterans available through MilTax.

Those who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and individuals with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their taxes can get free tax advice through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program also offers free tax help to taxpayers, particularly those age 60 and older, the IRS said.

RELATED: IRS now accepting tax returns. What’s different this tax season

The two services combined have 70,000 volunteers who serve 2.5 million taxpayers annually.

The IRS said that volunteers are trained to help taxpayers claim the tax credits they are entitled to such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents.

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NEW TAX LAW

If you’re wondering how you’re affected, not to worry, we have your back. We’re doing the work to make sure our products are up to date and that you can use them to file your taxes with complete confidence.

That said, many folks are wondering what’s in the bill and how it might affect them. Here’s a recap of some of the major tax provisions in the new tax bill and how they may impact you.

Increased Standard Deduction: The new tax law nearly doubles the standard deduction amount. Single taxpayers will see their standard deductions jump from $6,350 for 2017 taxes to $12,000 for 2018 taxes (the ones you file in 2019). Married couples filing jointly see an increase from $12,700 to $24,000. These increases mean that fewer people will have to itemize. Today, roughly 30% of taxpayers itemize. Under the new law, this percentage is expected to decrease.

Increased Child Tax Credit: For, families with children the Child Tax Credit is doubled from $1,000 per child to $2,000. In addition, the amount that is refundable grows from $1,100 to $1,400. The bill also adds a new, non-refundable credit of $500 for dependents other than children. Finally, it raises the income threshold at which these benefits phase out from $110,000 for a married couple to $400,000.

Personal and Dependent Exemptions: The bill eliminates the personal and dependent exemptions which were $4,050 for 2017 and increased to $4,150 in 2018. State and local taxes/Home mortgages: The bill limits the amount of state and local property, income, and sales taxes that can be deducted to $10,000. In the past, these taxes have generally been fully tax deductible. The bill also caps the amount of mortgage indebtedness on new home purchases on which interest can be deducted at $750,000 down from $1,000,000 in current law.

Health Care: The bill eliminates the tax penalty for not having health insurance after December 31, 2018. It also temporarily lowers the floor above which out-of-pocket medical expenses can be deducted from the current law floor of 10% to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018. So for 2018, you can deduct medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income as opposed to the higher 10%.

Fastax Has You Covered

Don’t worry about memorizing these tax changes the majority of which are for 2018 taxes that you file in 2019. Fastax has you covered and will be up to date with the latest tax laws. Call us for tax help at 661 493-8512