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Make Your 2024 Tax Season Stress Free

Tax season is here again! The deadline for filing your taxes this year is April 15, 2024. For a guide on how to file your taxes, please visit here.

Preparing to File Your 2023 Taxes

Start by getting organized! To avoid missing information or multiple trips to your tax preparer’s office, make sure to bring all the documents needed for filing your taxes. Here are some of the items you will need, depending on your specific filing: 

  • Photo ID
  • Social Security card or verification letter for all family members
  • W-2 forms for all jobs worked in 2023
  • Form 1099-G for unemployment
  • Form W-2G and 1099 for other income
  • Child care provider name, address, tax identification number and amount paid
  • Copy of last year’s state and federal tax returns
  • Copy of other applicable statements – i.e. interest statements, federal loan documents, retirement statements
  • Any and all letters from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state or local tax department/administrations
  • Forms 1095 A, B, C – Affordable Health Care Statements or health insurance exemption certifications

For a full list of documents and information, you can refer to the checklist to help make the process smoother here.

Tax Refund Products

Some tax preparers may offer the option of advanced refund loans. Examples of these include a refund advance loan (RAL) or a refund anticipation check (RAC).

An RAL allows you to receive a portion of your expected tax return before the IRS issues your refund, and the loan amount is based on the expected return amount. An RAC allows you to pay your tax preparation fee and any other service fees out of your refund instead of paying these fees upfront. Caution – the terms and fees for these products vary based on the situation.

How Do You Pay Back the Refund Loans?

Before you agree to a refund advance, review the terms of paying back the loan. If the loan is less than your expected return, the tax preparer will repay the loan directly from your refund and return any remaining amount to you. If the loan is more than your return or if you don’t receive a return, you will have to repay the loan to the tax preparer. The charge for the refund advance is separate from, and in addition to, the cost of preparing your tax return. To view a handout on tax refund products, click here.

Saving Possibilities for Your Tax Return

Did you know you can split your refund? You or your tax preparer can set up an automatic deposit for some of your refund to go into a savings account. Here are some additional articles and ideas for using your tax return:

  • Saving can help you avoid unexpected financial burdens. Learn more about saving your tax refund here.
  • Click here to learn how to open an IRA account to help obtain financial security when you retire.
  • Saving bonds are simple, safe and affordable. To learn more about this investment, visit here.
  • A 529 plan helps families pay for future education expenses. Click here to view the fact sheet from the IRS about 529 plans.

Free Resources

If you qualify, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has FREE tax preparation recommendations for preparers. Visit IRS.gov and select “Free Tax Preparation” or AARP.org and select “Tax-Aide Locator.” For online preparation, see GetYourRefund.org or MyFreeTaxes.com. Click here to view a flyer for more assistance on free tax preparation.


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