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Tax Talk

January 2015: Tax Filing Season is Here


As tax time approaches, many taxpayers will either be looking forward to a nice refund or dreading having to pay an amount due. Here are a few things you should consider, depending on which end of the spectrum you find yourself:

Expecting a Refund
The safest and quickest way to receive your refund is to e-file your return and have the refund directly deposited into the account of your choice. Using this method, you can have your funds in as little as 8-15 business days as opposed to approximately two months if you request a check.

You can track your refund at www.irs.gov within 24 hours after your e-filed return is accepted by the IRS, or 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. On the irs.gov main page, click on “Where’s My Refund?” and answer a few questions to see the status of your refund.

Reach out to the Credit Union for ideas on how to make your refund work for you! Our employees can discuss topics such as retirement planning, insurance needs, estate planning, creating an emergency fund, paying down debt and more!

If receiving a large refund, you may want to consider revisiting your tax withholdings from your wages or retirement income. After all, these are funds that could have been available to you all during the year!

Additional Amount Due
No matter when you file your return during tax season, you have until April 15th to pay the amount due without incurring any interest or late payment penalties. So don’t wait until April 15th to file your return! Beginning the filing process earlier in the season will allow time to gather any missing information needed to complete the return before the due date.

If you are not able to pay the entire amount due, pay as much as possible before April 15th. Interest and late payment penalties can begin accruing after this date (even if you file an extension), so you want to minimize any amount that may be subject to these additional charges. For any amounts you are unable to pay by April 15th, visit www.irs.gov to learn more about installment agreements and how to set these up with the IRS.

If you owe a large amount (i.e. more than $1,000), you need to consider if making estimated payments during the year or adjusting the tax withholdings from your wages or retirement income is appropriate. If you owe too much at tax time, you could also incur underpayment penalties in addition to your amount due. It may be too late to avoid that scenario this year, but making adjustments could save you money going forward.

Beginning January 20, 2015, tax preparers in all SECU branches will be ready to begin assisting you with your tax preparation needs. Contact your local branch to learn more about our tax preparation programs or if you have any questions regarding your refund or amount due. You can also visit www.ncsecu.org for more information.

Previous Tax Talk:

  • December 2014 - Healthcare & Your Tax Return
  • September 2014 - Tax Credits Affected by the New Tax Simplification and Reduction Act (TSRA)
  • August 2014 - Deductions and Exclusions Affected by the New Tax Simplification and Reduction Act
  • July 2014 – Tax Simplification and Reduction Act (TSRA)
  • February 2014 - Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions

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