What is VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (You Might Get Free Tax Preparation)

VITA can help you prepare your taxes for free.

Many people would like help with their tax returns, but don’t know how they can afford to employ the services of a tax professional.

It’s true that some of the major income tax preparation services advertise that they will file your taxes for free, but this isn’t always the same as preparing them; in many cases you can only have the 1040-EZ prepared for free.

If your taxes are a little more complicated than a 1040-EZ, yet you don’t feel like you can afford to have an accountant or other tax professional help you prepare your Form 1040, you do have a place to turn.

The IRS sponsors a program designed to help those who make less than $53,000 a year prepare and file their taxes — the VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Read on and see if VITA can help you prepare your taxes and get free tax filing.

What is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

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Don’t Let Your Goals Fizzle Out! – 5 Reasons Goals Fail, and What You Can Do To Make Yours Succeed

Instead of focusing on the process, focus on the end result.

It’s become a yearly ritual for many: Set ambitious goals for the New Year, tackle them enthusiastically for a few weeks, and then give up on them completely by March.

This is a vicious cycle that encourages you to feel bad about yourself, and feel as though you’ll never get out of your rut.

Whether you are setting goals for your finances, or whether you are attempting to substantially improve your life, the yearly attempt (and subsequent failure) associated with resolutions can be frustrating.

If you’re ready to break the cycle, it helps to understand why you fail, and what you can do to create success in your life.

Here are 5 Reasons Goals Fail — and What You Can Do to Overcome the Pitfalls of Resolution-Setting and Succeed This Year:

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Your Guide – Tips for Holiday Tipping (and My Story Working for Tips)

Tips for tipping this holiday season

This week, I’m reviewing all of the people who provide me with services, and figuring out how much to tip them.  The following are my tips for holiday tipping.

At holiday time, it’s appropriate to tip service providers that you see on a regular basis.  And avoiding services in December in order to weasel out of tipping someone who provides you with services throughout the year is frowned upon.

Read on and see my story on working for tips and who I think you should give a little extra to for the holidays.

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How Will Your Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score?

How will student loans affect your credit score?

You’d be hard-pressed to make it through college these days without student loans.

With the cost of a post-secondary education rising each year, most people can’t afford to attend university without the help of student loans.  Even a 529 plan and a partial-tuition scholarship might not be enough to avoid student loans.

While there are many advantages to student loans, and you can get special treatment with your student loans, it’s important to understand how a student loan can affect your credit.

Since your credit score is an important part of your financial life, it’s a good idea to consider the impact of your student loans.

Student Loans And Your Credit Score

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Lifestyle Inflation: The Silent Killer of Your Finances?

lifestyle inflation: the silent killer of your finances

Chances are, you want to make more money.

Most of us think that a higher income would improve matters in our financial lives.

But would more money really be useful to your long-term financial health?

It could potentially help — as long as you don’t let lifestyle inflation drain away your excess income.

The reality is that when most people earn more money, they spend more money.  If you aren’t careful, lifestyle inflation can destroy all of the benefits that come with a higher income.

You won’t get ahead if you don’t put that money to good use for your future.

What is Lifestyle Inflation?

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Where’s My Tax Refund? How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund

where's my tax refund

When you are expecting a tax refund, it is normal to file a little bit early.

The very next thing you say once you file is “where’s my refund?”  We can’t wait to get that money owed to us.

Indeed, many people have already received their tax refunds.

When you get refunded depends on two main factors:

  1. How you filed (mail or e-file)
  2. How you receive your refund (paper check or direct deposit)

If you mail in your tax return, and opt to receive your refund in the form of a check from the United States Treasury, it can take as long as two months or more to see your tax rebate.

This is the combination that takes the longest.
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File Later Or Fix A Mistake? – Extension of Time to File Taxes vs. Amended Tax Return

Extension of time to file vs amended return

This year, you have until April 15 to file your tax return (some years the date is off).

But that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to file.

You might want a little more time to get things together, or you might need to make changes to an already-filed return.

It is important to understand the difference between a tax extension and an amended return.

Read on and you’ll know for sure which of these 2 choices is right for you.

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