Consumers must make sure they know when to file

Across the country, millions of Americans may be in a position in which their income levels are low enough that they're not sure whether they will have to actually file tax returns for 2013. However, it's almost always better to be safe rather than sorry, and taking the time to understand the circumstances under which they will have to file is likely to be extremely important.

Often, this is an issue because people may not do as well as they should when it comes to keeping tabs on all their various financial documents for the year, according to a report from the bi-lingual Colorado newspaper La Voz. However, it may be wise for consumers to file even if they're not sure of their status simply because of what it may end up granting them in terms of benefits. Moreover, the documents they receive from employers are often a good indicator of what they should do if they're on the fence.

"If you received a W-2 or 1099, there is no question, you have to file," Val Vigil, Ward 2 councilman and mayor pro tem​pore for Thornton, Colorado, who also worked in the tax industry for more than four decades, told the newspaper. "When the employer gives you a 1099 or W-2, they also send one to the federal government. [The federal government is] waiting to see if the information matches. I think that the problem that [consumers] have is their record keeping. They don't know what records to keep to file taxes properly."

Another reason filing is important
Further, if those with low incomes have dependents of any kind, they can only obtain the tax benefits associated with them if they file a return, the report said. However, those with older dependents who will be filing their own returns will have to keep in mind that if the younger people claim themselves as dependents, then they cannot be claimed by their parents, guardians, and so on, so coordinating with them.

It's also important to work with a trained tax professional during filing season, because this may help to uncover a number of benefits to which Americans may be entitled but did not know about. Doing so can also significantly reduce the likelihood of filing errors overall.

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