Tag Archives: IRS

Avoid the Ghost of Taxes Past by Filing on Time

There are many benefits to filing taxes on time

There are many benefits to filing taxes on time

While we all want to keep as much of our own money as we can, deferring

taxes is a costly mistake. The cost of deferring payment is explored by Eva Rosenberg on the Equifax Personal Finance Blog in the article, “

Filing Taxes: Pitfalls of Procrastination.” The article is half tax tips and half horror stories of people suffering avoidable penalties when they could have easily prepared and scheduled time with a professional in the nine months of tax return filing season.

There is certainly a danger in the false sense of security you can get from always thinking you can get an extension. As time passes along, it is harder to recover your numbers from the previous year and often things get misplaced and then the extended filing date, usually October 15, sneaks up on you. If you miss that date, the penalties start adding up. One of the examples has a lazy tax filer faced with late-filing penalties as high as 25 percent for not getting around to digging up a single piece of information.

If you are paid on W-2s where the correct amount of withholding is removed, you should still be sure to file. Not only will this make sure you aren’t sent a bill by the

IRS, but by filing you also ensure you get your full refund. This is especially important to keep in mind because the IRS keeps your refund if you allow it to sit unclaimed for three years.

There are other horror stories about being lazy when it comes to taxes and how to avoid them in the full article on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog. The blog also has tons of useful information when it comes to your money, from taxes to insurance and beyond.

Summer Camp: A Time of Bugs, Fun and Maybe Even Tax Breaks

Summer Camp feaDepending on your income, you may be able to write off up to 35 percent of the cost of your child’s summer camp. As long as it’s day camp. As long as you haven’t already used up the maximum $3,000 you can take from the Child and Dependent Child Care Credit. As long as you use your child-free time to relax a little. (Okay…the IRS doesn’t require that one, but wouldn’t it be nice?)

Write Off  Your Child’s Summer Camp,”  a post on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog by tax expert Eva Rosenberg, explains the good and bad news of the summer camp credit. You use IRS Form 2441 to claim the credit on your taxes. Unfortunately for many parents who have children in private school or daycare, the money is already spent in daycare and after school care charges long before summer arrives.

If you read the stipulations on Rosenberg’s post and find you’re eligible, she warns that you should request the camp provider’s tax ID number before you send the child away. Turns out, some of them don’t want to give it out because they’re not planning to report the income.

If you’re part of the sandwich generation providing care for both children and parents, be aware that the same tax credit could apply for the care of adults who are elderly or disabled. Learn more and ask your questions at the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog.