3/17/2022  StatePoint
While filing taxes can be anxiety-provoking, there’s no need to stress. The right digital tools, along with smart strategies can make tax season a breeze:
File Faster
There are many services to help you e-file your taxes, walking you through each step for a quick, painless way to get your tax return faster. In some cases, you may be able to file for free, or for just a small fee. More accurate than paper filing, e-filing through a service such as TurboTax or TaxAct can offer peace of mind for an audit-free tax season.
Watch for Scams
Scammers are known to use seasonal moments like filing taxes in the spring or insurance enrollment in the fall to prey on unsuspecting people, and these scams are on the rise. In fact, recent T-Mobile network data showed over a 116% increase in scam attempts from 2020 to 2021. Here’s how to protect yourself:
Be suspicious of unexpected calls. The IRS will never demand immediate payment over the phone or threaten action from law enforcement. You have the right to dispute any charges with the IRS.
Don’t answer unknown numbers. Even if the number on your phone looks legitimate, if you suspect it’s a scam, let it go to voicemail. If it sounds too good to be true, it might be a scam. If you need to return the call, don’t call the number provided, instead, locate the customer service number online.
Beware of Facebook messages. Scammers can also contact you by email, text and social media. Know that the IRS will never contact you through these channels.
Get scam call protection. Today, most major wireless providers have tools to help customers prevent scam calls. For example, T-Mobile gives customers free scam identification, free scam blocking and free Caller ID with Scam Shield. Scam Shield is built into the heart of the T-Mobile network and updates every six minutes as new threats are detected, keeping customers better protected and identifying or blocking an average 1.8 billion calls monthly. T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers can download Scam Shield in the Google Play or App Store. Sprint customers can get scam protection through the Call Protect app.
Use Your Tax Return Wisely
Whether you owe the government money or have a tax return coming your way, it’s a good time of year to think about where you can make smart budgeting decisions and save. Many people never look at their wireless bill as a place to save money but did you know that switching to T-Mobile from AT&T or Verizon’s premium unlimited plans can save a family of four up to $1,000 per year on service? And not only will you save on your bill, T-Mobile’s Magenta and Magenta MAX plans are packed with additional value, including a Netflix subscription and a free year of Paramount+ and Apple TV+ as well as free stuff and discounts every week with T-Mobile Tuesdays.
Prefer paying for your wireless service in advance? Consider switching to Metro by T-Mobile, where a family of four on Metro’s top plan can save up to $720 annually on service compared to Boost’s premium plan. Metro by T-Mobile customers also get more value with T-Mobile Tuesdays, Google One cloud storage included and a free Amazon Prime membership.
And how about a free phone while you’re at it? At both T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile, you can bring the phone you already love or pick up a free new 5G phone. At T-Mobile, get a free Samsung Galaxy S22 when trading-in an eligible device on Magenta MAX or eligible Sprint plan or get a free Samsung Galaxy A13 5G when you switch to Metro by T-Mobile.
With some smart planning and know-how, you can have a pain-free tax season and financially-savvy year.
(c) Khanchit Khirisutchalual / iStock via Getty Images Plus