PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 18, 2021 


President Biden just signed a law declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday; and the first tropical storm system is forecast to make landfall in U.S. by end of the week.


2021Talks - June 18, 2021 


The U.S. marks a new national holiday; Republicans reject Sen. Joe Manchin's election reform compromise; and U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare but strikes a blow to equal rights.

Tips for a Smooth Start to Tax Season

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Experts recommend gathering important documents early to get a jump start on tax filing season. (James Morris/Flickr)
Experts recommend gathering important documents early to get a jump start on tax filing season. (James Morris/Flickr)
 By Mary KuhlmanContact
January 4, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Now that the holiday season is over, attention will soon shift to the much less jolly income tax filing season.

The IRS begins processing returns on Jan. 19, and Luis Garcia, an IRS spokesman in Michigan, suggests getting a head start now by organizing bank statements, donation receipts and other important paperwork.

For those using a professional tax service, he recommends conducting a background check to ensure the preparer is certified.

Also, Garcia says make sure everything is accurate before signing the bottom line.

"You should always review what you sign before it's sent, and you want to make sure that you always keep in mind that no matter who prepares your taxes, you are responsible for what's on that return,” he stresses. “And you want to make sure it's all legitimate."

Commercial software filing options also are available that are approved by the IRS, as well as the agency's IRS Free File system for people with annual incomes under $60,000.

Due to a holiday in Washington, the deadline to submit both state and federal 2015 tax returns this year is pushed back a couple of days to Monday, April 18.

For those who itemize deductions, any item donated over $500 requires a qualified appraisal. And Garcia explains not all charitable contributions are tax deductible.

"They may in fact be a tax exempt organization but they might not be a 501c3, which means when you donate to them, you can't deduct that from your tax return,” he points out. “So, you want to make sure they're a qualified charity."

If you realize you missed something after your return is filed, Garcia notes it's always possible to file an amended return.

"It's perfectly fine if you honestly forget something,” he explains. “Even if that means that it's more money for you, the IRS isn't going to get mad that there's more paperwork, or that you're suddenly getting more money back. It doesn't work like that at all – it's your money, and you legitimately deserve that deduction."

Also make sure to check your eligibility for tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Credit and education credits.

More information about those is online at IRS.gov.


Best Practices