Sense & Centsibility Blog

The Tax Man Cometh

It's getting close to that time time. April may seem far away right now, but it will be here before you know it. At the end of January everyone will be getting their W-2 forms and then the "fun" can begin. Here are some tips for a successful tax season: 

tax day

  • File early so you can prepare for the refund or a plan to make payments if you owe.
  • Use reputable resources to file your taxes.
  • If you're filing on your own, check out My Free Taxes via the United Way.
  • Use free tax prep sites if you qualify for that help. Click HERE to search for one via the IRS website or if you live in Minnesota, visit You Claim It, for info on who qualifies, what you need to bring to a tax appointment, and local tax prep sites near you.
  • Watch out for scams like places that offer refund anticipation loans. You can typically get your refund back pretty quickly anyway - especially if you use direct deposit - so be cautious and read the fine print before taking that loan with fees and interest charges. For more info on tax-related scams, visit the MN Attorney General's website.
  • If you owe and think you're going to have trouble making payments, contact the Taxpayer Advocate service for federal taxes owed or State of MN taxes owed to check out your options.

Not many people enjoy tax season so I encourage everyone to just do it and get it over with as soon as possible. Then you can focus on the light at the end of the tunnel...which is warmer weather.

Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.