Free help with taxes

Free help with taxes

As the days grow lighter and crocuses begin to appear at our feet, our hearts turn lightly to thoughts of taxes. Can you use some help filing this year? Or do you have questions about the new tax laws? WCLS is here for you, compiling up-to-date and reliable information.

Where can I get help filing my taxes this year?

Several organizations in Whatcom County can help, especially if your household income is less than $60,000 or if you are an older adult. View the two-page handout here to see the list of times and locations.  You may also qualify to use free tax software through the IRS.

Need help filing your taxes?

Free tax filing software

Will the new tax law affect the taxes I file this year on my 2017 income?

The new tax law will only impact income you earn in 2018.

Do I need to change the amount of money my employer withholds in 2018 to adjust for the new tax law?

No. The IRS has created new withholding amounts that will be automatically applied to paychecks no later than February 15, 2018. Because taxes decreased, the amount of money withheld from your paycheck may also decrease.

I heard the ACA (Obamacare) individual mandate or requirement to buy insurance was repealed. If I didn’t have insurance in 2017, do I still have to pay a penalty?

The repeal of the individual mandate will begin in 2019 so you will have to pay a penalty for 2017 unless you qualify for an exemption. This healthcare.gov website can help you determine if you qualify for an exemption.

You will also need to purchase insurance, pay a penalty, or qualify for an exemption in 2018.

How will the new tax law affect me in general?

The tax law remains extremely complex, so it is difficult to predict how it will impact individuals. However, the Consumer Reports article below describes the effect of the law on different kinds of individuals and families and may give you an idea of what to expect.

Who gains and who loses under the new tax law

What if I have further questions?

Because the new tax law is so recent, the internet has a lot of outdated information. If you are looking up answers online, be sure that your source is up-to-date and reliable. You can try the IRS interactive tax assistant search here: https://www.irs.gov/help/ita. Or, you can consult with a tax expert, either a paid professional or with one of the volunteer organizations listed here.