Editorial: Help With Taxes Goes A Long Way To Relieving Stress

Editorial: Help With Taxes Goes A Long Way To Relieving Stress

Tax Day is now past and it’s easy enough to imagine a collective sigh of relief as that chore is put aside for another year. This tax season provided an extra three days past the typical April 15 deadline, but it’s doubtful that little grace period made much difference to those scurrying to pull the required documents together for the April 18 finish line.

The IRS explains the situation. It granted the short reprieve because Tax Day fell on a weekend and also due to Washington D.C. celebrating Emancipation Day. Some parts of the country that experienced a natural disaster in 2022 received an automatic extension. For those who filed to get a regular extension, that option pushes the deadline to Oct. 16, but some fees may still apply.

Help with filing was available for private filers earning under $60,000 a year, according to a story by Record-Journal reporter Lau Guzmán.

The Human Resources Agency, based in New Britain, helps run the Volunteer Income Tax sites around Connecticut. This year, there were about a hundred volunteer tax preparers available to assist the public. Meriden and Wallingford were among the places where the agency provided services, including at those cities’ public libraries.

Guzmán spoke with Wallingford library Assistant Director Julie Rio, who said that tax preparation went “really well” this year. She noticed that in-person appointments rose and online filing declined.

“People like to see people in-person and get that personal touch,” Rio said.

Guzmán’s story characterized the experience of filing taxes as a potentially complicated and anxiety-inducing process for anyone.

However, her story focused on the additional burden for those who don’t speak English well or those who are undocumented, as well as on local services that can help. For instance, HRA also partners with a national online tax assistance program, GetYour-Refund, which offers online services in Spanish.

No matter what, everyone has to comply with IRS requirements.

For those who got their taxes done on time — or even early — and who are getting a refund, the IRS has some good news, if that filing was done electronically. Most taxpayers can then expect to receive their refund within 21 days if they use direct deposit and as long as there are no issues with their tax return.

Having friendly, knowledgeable help with taxes can make the process much less painful. It’s good to see that volunteer assistance is available and that many are making use of those resources.

More awareness of non-English-speaking individuals who may need extra help is an area of concern that must be robustly addressed and we’re glad to see that work has begun.


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