Can't decide what to do with your tax refund? Split it

If you lived in more than one state a year ago, you can file your federal tax return through Credit Karma Tax, but you'll have to go elsewhere to file your state tax returns.

All of this is why the IRS web page about the shift to private collection devotes a lot of space to avoiding scam artists.

The IRS is going to start using third-party debt collectors.

AARP says it has fielded thousands of phone calls in recent years from people complaining about IRS imposters.

Unlike private debt collectors, IRS employees have a variety of tools at their disposal with which they can help taxpayers facing financial difficulties meet their tax obligations. The agencies will send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer. If you discover you have nothing due on that site, then you know you're being contacted by an outfit that is not reputable.

Historically, scammers have posed as the IRS to target seniors and other vulnerable adults to retrieve identifying information or payment. "They get you because people are afraid of the IRS", says Kristin Keckeisen, campaign director for the association's Fraud Watch Network. They will be given options shown at payments.

But if you sell items regularly - auctioning off 200 items and earning more than $20,000 in sales each year - your income is taxable. Alternatively, if you really want to strengthen your delayed-gratification skills, you can use the form to buy up to $5,000 of Series I savings bonds or direct the IRS mail some of your refund in a paper check.

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So, it's fair to assume many fiscally conservative Republicans would demand budget cuts to make up for any decrease in revenue. Neither of these facts seemed to exercise the White House, at least not enough to try to do anything to fix them.

If you are behind on your taxes, you could get a phone call from an unexpected place this year.

Transposing just one number could cause huge headaches, because the IRS makes clear on Form 8888 that it is not responsible for a lost refund if you enter incorrect account information. Also keeping an eye out will be the National Taxpayer Advocate and the Treasury employees' union, both of whom have expressed strong reservations about the program's cost-effectiveness and how it's structured, among other things. If you're one of the unfortunate taxpayers in this particular situation, don't panic.

Another reason to offer feedback is this program is essentially an experiment and the IRS and lawmakers are watching it closely.

Keep in mind that an extension to file does not allow you more time to pay your taxes.

If you didn't have the required health coverage a year ago, you could be in violation of the law if you choose not to pay the penalty and take the chance that the IRS won't enforce it.

"The next step will be a phone call from the private firm to the taxpayer", Murphy said. Eight collection companies now seek payments on overdue tax debts owed the state, said department spokesman Ed Greenberg. With the Online Payment Agreement, no paperwork is required, there is no need to call, write or visit the IRS and qualified taxpayers can avoid the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien if one was not previously filed. For instance, did you have credit card debt that wasn't paid off each month, resulting in you having to pay interest?

The IRS has said the scam is so widespread that multiple criminal organizations are taking part. You can learn more about paying your taxes with a credit card here. However, there is a minimum penalty that ends up being the smaller of $205 or 100% of the unpaid tax if the return is more than 60 days late. That's because, while there's an IRS threshold for filing these documents by employers, there's no similar threshold for claiming the income.

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