February 16, 2018 – You have just about 2 months to file your Massachusetts and Federal taxes for 2017! They’re due by Tuesday, April 17 (don’t forget)! It’s important to start collecting necessary forms now so that you aren’t scrambling as the deadline fast approaches.
As you start this process, be sure to stay on the lookout for scams. A lot of scammers try to capitalize on the confusion and stress surrounding tax season in order to steal your identity and money. As referenced in our News posting from February 2nd, the IRS doesn’t send harassing or threatening emails, or call you before they’ve already mailed a bill. Many taxpayers have also fallen victim to email scams containing links to seemingly legitimate websites that ask for personally identifying information. Oftentimes these emails contain links or files which, when opened, will put viruses on your computer and steal your information. Trust your gut if you get one of these emails. You can always call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to inquire into the legitimacy of a communication.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has also issued an advisory on instances of identity theft in the Commonwealth, and what to do about it. Both the Commonwealth and federal governments have reporting services, but you can also choose to speak with a private attorney to explore your options if you think that your identity was stolen or you’ve been the target of fraud.
The government also understands that preparing and submitting your taxes can be very difficult and frustrating. That’s why they published lists of:
- Approved tax preparation software, including those which sometimes offer free filing,
- Programs which offer free tax help to people who make less than $54,000 a year, have disabilities, and/or limited English proficiency. You can search for the dozens of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations in the Boston area, operating out of libraries, community centers, and banks, and,
- Locations of tax aide for people over 50 who might have questions about pensions or retirement plans.
Here’s a checklist of what you should bring with you to these programs
If, despite seeking help from tax specialists, you still find yourself in trouble with the IRS or Massachusetts Department of Revenue, or if you just have some questions, call the Boston Bar Association at 617-742-0625 or fill out our online form here to get connected to a licensed, knowledgeable, and experienced tax attorney today! Our service is free to use and we can make most referrals in just a few minutes. Don’t wait until April 17th – call now!