(StatePoint) While filing taxes can be anxiety-provoking, there’s no need to stress. The right digital tools, along with smart strategies can make tax season a breeze:
There are many services to help you e-file your taxes, walking you through each step for a quick, painless way to get your tax return faster. In some cases, you may be able to file for free, or for just a small fee. More accurate than paper filing, e-filing through tax services can offer peace of mind for an audit-free tax season.
Watch for Scams: Scammers are known to use seasonal moments like filing taxes in the spring or insurance enrollment in the fall to prey on unsuspecting people, and these scams are on the rise. In fact, recent T-Mobile network data showed over a 116% increase in scam attempts from 2020 to 2021. Here’s how to protect yourself:
Be suspicious of unexpected calls. The IRS will never demand immediate payment over the phone or threaten action from law enforcement. You have the right to dispute any charges with the IRS.
Don’t answer unknown numbers. Even if the number on your phone looks legitimate, if you suspect it’s a scam, let it go to voicemail. If it sounds too good to be true, it might be a scam. If you need to return the call, don’t call the number provided, instead, locate the customer service number online.
Beware of Facebook messages. Scammers can also contact you by email, text and social media. Know that the IRS will never contact you through these channels.
Get scam call protection. Today, most major wireless providers have tools to help customers prevent scam calls. For example, T-Mobile gives customers free scam identification, free scam blocking and free Caller ID with Scam Shield. Scam Shield is built into the heart of the T-Mobile network and updates every six minutes as new threats are detected, keeping customers better protected and identifying or blocking an average 1.8 billion calls monthly. T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers can download Scam Shield in the Google Play or App Store. Sprint customers can get scam protection through the Call Protect app.
Use Your Tax Return Wisely: Whether you owe the government money or have a tax return coming your way, it’s a good time of year to think about where you can make smart budgeting decisions and save.
With some smart planning and know-how, you can have a pain-free tax season and financially-savvy year.