Putting You First: Tax time help

Local News
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It’s that time of year – tax time. The W-2 forms are rolling in, and many people are making sure they have everything in place to file their taxes.

But you may have some questions – especially as there are some changes this year.

This is the first year that New York State is requiring information from your driver’s license. They say it’s another step to ensure the authenticity of your return, and to prevent fraud.

If your social security number has been compromised, identity thieves can’t e-file a tax return without your driver’s license number – preventing them from stealing your refund.

If you don’t include this information, your return will eventually be processed – but it may be delayed.

Another common question is if couples should file jointly or separately, especially those that are newly married or going through a divorce.

Tax experts at the New York State Society of CPAs say there’s no “right” answer, but there are a number of factors to consider, including whether your incomes are equal, if one person has a lot of medical expenses, or if one spouse owed back taxes before the marriage.

Dependents can also create tricky situations for taxpayers. A common situation arises when a couple is divorced, but both claim their child as a dependent.

Experts say if this happens, and you feel you have the right to claim the exemption, you’ll have to file your return manually. This will delay the refund – and be prepared to verify your claim.

Finally, those claiming the Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit could have their refund delayed.

Most refunds are processed within 10 to 14 days, but by law, refunds for taxpayers claiming either of those refunds must be held until February 15 – and could take a week beyond that to process.

To ensure you get your refund as fast as possible, experts recommend e-filing, and having the refund direct deposited into your bank account.

For more information, visit irs.gov or the New York State Society of CPA’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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