A national poll from NeighborWorks America, a nationwide non-profit that provides training and resources to affordable housing organizations, found that nearly half of the taxpayers across the country expect to use their 2017 tax refund to strengthen their financial situation.
If you are looking to lower your debt or save for the future, here are seven quick tips to help you manage and make the most of your 2017 taxes.
1. Ask Friends and Family for Advice
If you’re using a tax preparation professional to complete your form, seek a referral from friends and co-workers. Not all tax preparers offer the same degree of service, and fees can vary
2. Consider VITA
Consider having your tax documents prepared by an organization affiliated with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA tax preparers receive training and certification by the U.S. Treasury Department. Note that taxpayers who want to work with a VITA consultant must meet income and family size requirements.
3. Utilize the TC
If eligible, tax advantage of the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TC) program that is particularly useful to people 60 years of age and older. TCE counselors specialize in tax-related questions that address pension and retirement.
4. Put the Money Toward Retirement
Think about using a tax refund to save for retirement. A majority of Americans enter retirement without enough money to maintain their lifestyle, but saving early and consistently will help you reach your goals.
5. Avoid Anticipation Loans
Be wary of tax preparers that urge you to receive a tax refund anticipation loan. These loans often come at a very high cost, and while they may put money immediately into your pocket, the consequences can quickly outweigh the benefits.
6. Make an Emergency Account
Consider establishing an emergency savings account. Nearly one out of three adults (more than 70 million people in the U.S.) don’t have an emergency savings account, and about 47 percent of Americans with a savings account say that their savings would last less than one month. If you don’t have an emergency savings account, starting one with a portion of your tax refund is a great first step.
7. Know Your Debt
When paying off debt, recognize that not all debt is the same. For example, home mortgage debt and credit card debt are very different. A CNE homeownership center counselor from can help you prepare and follow-through on the best way to reduce your debt.
No matter your financial concerns or questions, CNE’s Homeownership Center staff is ready to help you reach your goals. From counseling to lending products, we’ll work with you to find the best solutions.
Contact us at 423-756-6201 or email@example.com to get started.