Don’t Leave Money on the Table!

And make sure no one else gets your tax refund!

According to a July 2020 Forbes article, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has over $1.5 billion in tax refunds waiting to be claimed. And with last year’s Advanced Child Tax Credit, it is more important than ever to make sure you get every credit and/or deduction you deserve. Depending on your income, you may be able to file for free. And the IRS is warning that scammers are ready and willing to file your taxes for you, and take your refund. One way to protect yourself is to file early.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

When filing your taxes, your adjusted gross income is simply your gross income minus any adjustments.

Example: Contributions to your 401K reduce your gross income for federal taxes.

Income qualified taxpayers have several options to file their taxes for free. Some of the following programs include help from a certified tax preparer:

  • IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) – The IRS recently announced special Saturday hours at many Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the country. TACs provide taxpayers with in-person help. Select TACs will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., February 12, March 12, April 9, and May 14. Although no appointments are required, they don’t have a list of locations for each date, so check the website below for locations and times. Just as a heads up, if you owe money to the IRS, TAC centers will not accept cash payments on these Saturdays. For more information, locations, and a list of what to bring go to:

Ben Franklin once wrote that “…nothing is certain except death and taxes.” However, I would like to add that something else is also certain – scams. Scammers work year round to cheat you out of your money. The best way to protect yourself? Be vigilant. The IRS will never call a taxpayer to demand immediate payment using a prepaid debit, gift card, or wire transfer; threaten a taxpayer with arrest; or ask for bank account information. If a taxpayer owes the IRS money, the IRS will mail the taxpayer a bill and request that payment be made payable to the U.S. Treasury. And if a taxpayer is not sure they can view tax account information online at to see if money is owed, and how much. Taxpayers can review their payment options here as well.

Some tips to protect against scams and fraudsters:

  • Do not give any information out over the phone
  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help.
  • File your taxes early
  • Receive your refunds electronically via a direct deposit. Direct deposit is more secure and faster (it could take 6-8 weeks to get a paper refund).

Finally, if you do not have a bank account here are some great resources to #getbanked: BankOn, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Credit Union Administration. These links will provide a list of banks and credit unions that allow opening an account online. Veterans can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program to learn about financial services at participating banks. And Clarifi is here to help navigate tax time. To contact us, call 1-800-989-2227 or go to