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Tax Tips from Your Tri-State BBB

Tax Tips from Your Tri-State BBB - The Beacon


By: Susan

Tax Tips from Your Tri-State BBB

Tax time can cause nervousness and frustration, so your BBB wishes to provide some tips today to help you get started on your taxes as well as provide some IRS answers to common consumer fears.

First, gather the necessities:  A great way to start is to look at your return from last year. This can help provide a basic checklist for the items you’ll need, such as W-2’s, interest and donation forms, and other forms necessary to file your taxes. From there, think about new developments last year. Did you start investing, change jobs, or incur education or childcare expenses? The more information you can gather up front will help.

Finally, if you are still feeling like you may be missing some items, you can find a pretty extensive list of possible forms needed on the IRS’s website at

Decide if you plan to file on your own or with a tax professional:  Information to help with the decision can be found at  Here you can find the “Free File Software” or fillable forms with the eligibility requirements, frequently asked questions, or if you prefer to go through a tax provider, they provide a list of authorized IRS e-file providers in your area. You can then obtain a free BBB Business Review from to see if the business has had any complaints, check out their rating and learn if they are accredited to help with your selection.

If you need more time:  You can file an extension three different ways with the IRS.  The best way to learn about the process of gaining an extension is to visit the IRS’s home page under the “filing” tab and look for the link labeled “extension of time to file“  or simply type “extension of time to file” in their search box.

If you can’t pay your taxes, know there are options:  The IRS can provide short term payment extensions, monthly payment options or take an “offer in compromise,”   which could cut your tax liability due to a documented financial hardship. There may be fees associated with these services though, so you’ll want to read the terms and eligibility requirements carefully.

If it’s just a short term loan you need, the IRS will also take a credit card payment for taxes that are owed.

Have more questions? The IRS has local offices in many cities to help. When you look up your city and local office on the IRS website, it will show what services are provided by the office as well as their hours and a number to call.  You can also call the IRS toll free at 1-800-TAX-1040.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Susan is Director of Media Relations for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. She is a contributor to the blog as well as to the online News Center, found at Susan also helps to produce an annual accredited business recognition banquet.