It’s that time of year that many look forward to. All year long we’ve been good citizens (hopefully), paying our taxes on a regular basis. Now it’s that time to see some of our hard-earned money returned, unless of course you owe it. As much as we may look forward to receiving a nice chunk of change back, something may come along and rain on our parade. Here are some of those scenarios and ways of preventing these mishaps:
- Money received is less than what tax consultant indicates. To avoid this problem, make sure that you hire someone reputable. Check out the company’s profile on bbb.org or give us a call. Also be sure to ask how much fees are upfront.
- Third party fees: Some companies give an option of placing your tax refund on a prepaid charge card. While fees may not be directly charged by the tax consulting firm, fees may be charged by the Credit Card Company and/or bank. Check in advance for fees that may apply.
- Off-shore tax shelters are not a good idea. The IRS investigates and goes after people for tax evasion, all of the time.
- Pay taxes on time to avoid any late fees.
- Refund Anticipation Loans can cost you an arm and a leg too, if not careful. The idea behind these is to get your refund a lot quicker, but the fees involved have been reported to cost anywhere from “70-700% APR.” (At one time RALs were a much larger problem for consumers. Since then, reforms in the industry have diminished predatory practices. Still one should be on the lookout for hidden fees.)
- Lastly, Identity theft is a big one. Safeguard your social security number like crazy to prevent anyone from impersonating you and filing on your behalf.
Should you have any questions or concerns, let us know. We’d be happy to assist you in finding a reputable company or in assisting you, if you feel you are a victim of identity theft. Happy Tax Filing!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianjmatis/3446996142/”>brianjmatis</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>