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Southern Tier CA$H (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) is an IRS sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, led by Arbor Housing and Development, offering free tax help, to people who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

Don’t ignore a letter from the IRS

Don’t worry if you receive one of the millions of letters the IRS sends to taxpayers every year, but don’t ignore it either. IRS letters typically are about a specific issue on your federal tax return or tax account and include specific instructions on what you need to do to respond.

Generally, the IRS sends a letter if:

  • you owe additional tax;
  • you are due a larger refund; or
  • the IRS is requesting payment or needs additional information about your return.

Many of these letters can be dealt with simply, without having to call or visit an IRS office.

For example, you may get a letter that states the IRS made a change or correction to your tax return. If you do receive this letter, review the information and compare it with your original return. If you agree, you usually don’t need to reply unless it gives you other instructions or you need to make a payment.

However, if you don’t agree with the letter, it’s important for you to respond. Write to explain why you disagree and include any information and documents you want the IRS to consider. Mail your reply to the address shown in the letter along with the bottom tear-off portion of the letter, if provided. Keep copies of any correspondence with your tax records. Allow at least 30 days for a response from the IRS.

If you have questions, call the telephone number in the letter. Have a copy of your tax return and the correspondence available when you call.

Check Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter on IRS.gov for samples of the letters we send, including the reason we send it and a list of enclosures we might include. Since parts of our letters vary depending on account conditions, the samples may not exactly match the letters we mail. The basic message, though, will be the same.

If you receive a letter that looks suspicious and appears as though it came from the IRS, visit the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov. The IRS never asks for personal information via e-mail or social media.

For more information about IRS notices and bills, see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. Information about penalties and interest is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. Both publications are available at IRS.gov


Questions on the new Tax Reform? For detailed information, visit the IRS Tax Reform page

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) Information The IRS issued a new publication to help taxpayers learn about tax reform and how it affects their taxes. Pub 5307 - Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families provides information to help individual taxpayers understand the new law, take action - if necessary - and comply with your federal tax return filing requirements.Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Individuals


Tips to Get the Most Value from Your Tax Refund

  • Pay down your debt. Use your refund for some much needed debt relief. Pay off your credit card balance. If you have an outstanding balance on more than one credit card, try to pay off the smaller, high-interest rate balances first. That will free up more funds to put toward larger balances. Alternatively, you can apply your refund toward other debts, like a car loan or a home equity loan.
  • Save for a rainy day. Why not give yourself an even bigger return on your tax refund by putting the money into a savings account, CD, retirement fund, or purchasing a tax time savings bond? Your tax refund will continue to grow if you put it into savings or invest the money. It's always helpful to have a savings account to draw from when a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you don't have to borrow money and add to your debt-load.
  • Consider your financial goals. Trying to save for a house or car down payment? Hope to contribute to your child's college tuition? Consider applying your tax refund toward these goals. If you don't yet have a set of short-term and long-term financial goals, put one together. You'll be more conscientious about how you spend your refund or any other extra money that comes your way.

Filing Your Own Taxes
United Way offers a FREE online filing service that you can use anywhere. MyFreeTaxes.com is a tool (H&R Block software) for people who made $66,000 or less in combined Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2018. You can prepare and file both federal and state taxes at no cost, and claim valuable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Just click the orange button for "Login", then click "Go to H&R Block" to go the to website to create your account, or login to your existing account.

To ensure that you are filing for free - please use the online software available on the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance Free File Alliance Webpage.

 

More Tax Information