KristiLyn Wilkinson, Empowering Financial Wellness Program Manager
When I say “it’s that time of year again,” I know most of you wish I was talking about pumpkin spice everything and not taxes. I bet most people don’t enjoy doing their taxes or owing money for taxes, but I know a lot of people who do look forward to getting their tax refunds. When it comes to saving money on your taxes, tax credits are your best friend. Adjustments and deductions lower your taxable income by a certain percentage (this is based on your marginal tax bracket). Tax credits, however, let you reduce the amount of tax you owe dollar for dollar and that means more money back in your pocket!
Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
If you’re anything like me, I am the ultimate procrastinator when it comes to filing my tax returns. But believe it or not theft in the time of tax returns is a lot more common than you might think and being a procrastinator isn’t best in this situation. Most people don’t know that they’ve been exposed to this type of theft until their tax return is denied. There are criminals out there that attempt to steal identities by filing false returns using your Social Security number. According to the IRS, in 2019, there were about 60,000 fraudulent tax returns filed and those returns were worth millions…….. $345.5 to be precise. While the IRS was able to prevent about 93% of those, there were still about $24 million worth of returns outstanding. Keep in mind that these statistics are only related to actual tax filings. So how can you protect yourself from scams at tax time? How can it pay to file early?
GUEST BLOGGER: KATHY RIGGS, USU EXTENSION PROFESSOR
When was the last time you evaluated your finances? Are you making ends meet? Are you able to make your housing and utility payments each month and on time? Are you adding to a savings account regularly?
Hopefully you are able to answer “yes” to each of those questions. However, many of us are able to pay off regular debts yet struggle to save for that “rainy day” or even retirement. Here are three suggestions for giving your savings account a bit of a push from America Saves.
GUEST BLOGGER: KATHY RIGGS
Tax Freedom Day is the first day of each year that Americans work for themselves—meaning, up unto that point, every dollar earned up to that date pays for federal, state, and municipal government taxes. According to the US Tax Foundation, the date for 2019 is April 16th. This is 105 days into the year or about 30% of the year.
If learning that 30% of your year working to pay government authorized taxes isn’t enough of a jolt, when compared to how much the average American spends on Housing, Clothing, and Food combined, we spend more on taxes each year than on these vital items.
(US Tax Foundation)
Here's another way to visualize it:
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