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Parent Survival Guide: Tax filing reminders and tips

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 1:03 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The pandemic has changed some things when it comes to filing taxes this year.

Lowcountry money expert Dorthea Bernique with Increasing Hope Financial Services says don’t put off filing any longer. Especially those who qualify for free tax services through VITA or the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance which offers free tax preparation assistance to people who generally make $54,000 or less.

“Sites are limited and offices are backed up so the advice is definitely not to wait until the last minute if you want to use this service. Go ahead and get scheduled and get on someone’s book because there is a back log,” Bernique said.

She also said expect your unemployment income to be taxed.

“Sometimes we don’t realize that income from unemployment is taxable and so if no taxes came out of that it will need to be paid,” Bernique said.

Bernique also said people should make sure when filing their taxes to make sure they consider every single tax credit for which they qualify.

“Whether its earned income, tax credit, education tax credits there’s so many so make sure your preparer or whoever you use are aware of all the many tax credits on the table so you don’t leave any money on the table,” Bernique said.

In addition, Bernique said people need to make sure all of their documentation like W2′s and 10-99′s are ready to go. Also, she says people should make sure the person they choose to do their taxes is certified and well trained to maximize potential returns.

“Make sure the tax preparers offices are open year round and not just a fly by night company only around during the filing season. If they only show up from January to April that may not be the best place to have your taxes done,”Bernique said.

As a reminder the tax deadline has been pushed up to May 17 this year.

Bernique also adds that after filing taxes, people need to be patient when expecting their returns. She says this is because the IRS is overwhelmed and it might take more time to see that payment.

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