Have you filed your taxes yet?

Dear Friends,

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” This year, the deadline to file your taxes is April 18, 2016; less than one month away!  As you file your 2015 taxes, I want to share the different ways that Delaware and the IRS can help you save time and money.

All of the information you need to get started, as well as steps for filing your individual tax return quickly and easily can be found on the IRS’s “Filing Your Taxes” website.

The website also provides you options for how to file your taxes. The IRS offers access to free commercial tax preparation software and paper forms at no cost if you feel comfortable doing your taxes and determining your potential tax credits on your own. Additionally, you can also use Free File to get an extension of time to file, but make sure to pay by April 18 or you may face a penalty or interest.

If you have specific questions about your taxes and cannot find the information readily online, you should feel free to call or visit one of three IRS Tax Assistance Centers located in Delaware: 

  • Kent County: (302) 678-2784
    • 611 S. Dupont Hwy., Dover, DE 19901 
  • New Castle County: (302) 573-6343
    • 844 King St., Wilmington, DE 19801
  • Sussex County: (302) 752-9200
    • 21309 Berlin Rd. Unit 13, Georgetown, DE 19947 
    • (by appointment only)

For elderly or low- to moderate-income people who cannot prepare their own taxes, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) provide free, in-person help. To find the nearest VITA or TCE program, visit the VITA/TCE information page.

The IRS estimates that over 4,000 Delawareans are eligible for a 2012 tax refund averaging almost $800. If you haven’t filed your 2012 return and think you should receive a refund, you can get the money you’re owed by filing that return by April 18. Information on how to do so can be found here.

I would also like to make you aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. This is an easy, simple tax refund that may be available to workers who earned up to between $47,747 and $53,267 in 2015. EITCs can be as high as $6,242 for workers with qualifying children, or $503 for workers without. I encourage you to find out if you are eligible for an EITC and how to file it.

Finally, if you or someone you know utilizes tax resources other than those available on the IRS.gov website, be sure to keep an eye out for fraudulent tax services or scams looking to take advantage of Delawareans. 

I hope this information makes your tax filing process as smooth as possible. As always, please feel free to reach out to me about this, or any other issue, through email or by contacting me on Twitter @SenatorCarper and on Facebook at facebook.com/tomcarper.