Avoid Penalties, File Your Taxes on Time Plus 10 Ideas for Your Tax Return

file taxes

To avoid hefty fees and bad credit, it pays to file

your taxes on time

Tax Day is April 17, just a month away. If you are smart you have already filed your taxes, or you are in the process of preparing them to be filed. You should avoid filing late. If you owe money on your taxes and don’t file by the April 17 deadline, you will be charged a failure-to-file penalty by the IRS which is normally 5% of the unpaid taxes. You will be charged the 5% late fee every month your taxes are not paid, up to 25 percent of your total amount due.

If you do not pay the full amount of taxes that you owe by Tax Day deadline, you will also be charged a failure-to-pay penalty of .5-1% of your unpaid taxes. The maximum amount of penalty fees you can be charged is 5 percent. However, your fees accrue interest as well. So, every month you fail to file and pay your taxes, you are adding to your balance due.

Say you owe $1,000 in taxes this year. If you don’t file your taxes by the deadline, you will be charged 5% penalty fee which is $50 (1,000 x .05 = 50). Your balance due then becomes $1,050. If you do not file your taxes a month later, you will be charged another 5% which is $52.50 (1,050 x .05). The interest will accrue and be added to your principle every month up to $250 (1,000 x .25).

The same example applies if you file but fail to pay by the deadline. You will be charged .5 to 1% every month, with interest accruing on your fees. For more information on penalties, view this IRS fact sheet. Worse, if you fail to pay for an extended time, the IRS can file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. This public record lets creditors know they have priority to your property. This can have major repercussions on your credit score.

You have tax options

You still have time to file and you have options if you cannot pay all of your taxes now. The best option if you need help is to contact the IRS. They will work with you and paying what you can now is a far better choice than doing nothing. Most people can file for free with IRS Free File. The irs.gov website also offers tools and advice to get your taxes filed on time.

If you aren’t able to file your taxes on time, file for a free extension by April 17. You will then have until October 15, 2018 to file. Note, you still have to pay 90% of your taxes due with your extension request. The remaining taxes you owe are due by the October 15 deadline. If you can’t pay now, you can apply for a payment plan. The IRS also has options for people who are unable to meet payments. Check out their website and contact them for options.

refund calculation

Make the Most of your Refund

You worked hard for your refund now let your money work for you. Using your money wisely now will pay off down the road. A post by the Intuit Mint blog lists the 10 best ways to use your tax return. Here are their ideas, straight from the post:

  1. Pay down existing debt
  2. Build your emergency fund.
  3. Fund your individual retirement account
  4. Invest
  5. Consider buying flood insurance or increasing liability coverage
  6. Start a savings account for something big
  7. Make home improvements
  8. Donate to charity
  9. Replace an inefficient appliance
  10. Invest in yourself

Increasing HOPE has a passion to promote financial freedom for families through education and training. Your federal taxes are a small part of a big financial picture. If you need help understanding the big picture, contact us and let’s get started on your path to financial emp

Celebrating A Decade of H.O.P.E.

Celebrating 10 Years of Service

Increasing H.O.P.E (Helping Others Prosper Economically) is celebrating its 10th year of serving the community, and we are please to invite you to celebrate a Decade of H.O.P.E and Community Impact with us.

Celebratory Event and Fundraiser

This event and fundraiser will celebrate our 10 years of serving the community and we’re honored to have WCBD-TV News Anchor, Carolyn Murray as our Master of Ceremony, along with a special Guest Speaker!

  • Date: Thursday 23 April, 2015
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Venue: Rue de Jean, 39 John Street, Charleston, SC 29401 (Map)
  • Tickets: $50 – purchase at adecadeofhope.eventbrite.com or by calling 843-906-3981
  • More information: Anniversary Flyer

This event will include cocktail’s, hor d’oeuvres, and a silent auction.

Sponsorship packages are available for purchase, please contact the event organizer for details. All proceeds will go to Increasing H.O.P.E.

H.E.R Institute

HER-Logo-OPT (2)


Are you ready to become independent and build a life for you and your family?

Do you want to use your entrepreneurial skills to do it?

Let H.E.R. Institute help you!

Whether you are a licensed cosmetologist, massage therapist, home health care provider, wedding planner, photographer or work-from-home artist, small business education is the key to your independence! Learning business basics will help you to create a solid, profitable business you and your family can not only be proud of, but rely on for years to come.

H.E.R. Institute is committed to providing you with the money management principles and small business education that will position you for success! This comprehensive small business training program covers all of the following:

*Personal Development & The Entrepreneurial Mindset

*  Business Development & Licensing

*  Sales & Marketing

*  Personal & Business Financial Management

* Customer Service

*  Personnel & Human Resource Development

*  And more!

You’ll have everything you need within this one program to start, manage and grow a successful small business! Whether you are working from home or have a stand-alone location, you will be equipped for long-term success in the marketplace. And, most importantly, you won’t have to dedicate a lot of time to your preparation!

This 6-month intensive training program offers you the flexibility you need to learn and complete your course work quickly, while still taking care of your responsibilities at home.

You will have:

*  (12) Small Business Training classes presented in-person only twice per month

*  (6) Live group coaching sessions conveniently presented twice per month via teleseminar w/ downloads for later review

* (3) One-on-One accountability sessions at Month 2, Month 4 and Month 6

If your desire is to take the dream you currently have and build a business that will transform your life and change your current circumstances, H.E.R. Institute is a perfect fit for you.

We’re here to help you stand on your own and provide for your household using the skills you have already gained. It’s time to declare your independence!

To enroll today, click here.

Money Fair 2014

Join us for Charleston’s Largest Financial Services Events!

More than 300 local residents of Charleston and the surrounding areas will attend Money Fair `14, and they will be looking for information to help them work toward financial freedom.

Attendee Registration

[button link=”http://www.eventbrite.com/o/increasing-hope-financial-training-center-2783297650?s=22889283″ bg_color=”#006600″]Register Now[/button]

About the Event

Sponsored by PNC BankMoney Fair 2014 is an educational fair dedicated to helping Charleston residents learn to invest in themselves and their financial futures. In this half-day community fair, we will offer classes, vendors, and products, all centered on creating financial freedom! And, this year, we have partnered with the Community Connection Center (C3) to provide job preparation and training for attendees – and hiring companies will be on-site interviewing job applicants!

  • Date: Thursday, April 24th, 2014
  • Time: 3PM – 7PM
  • Location: Miller Motte Technical, 8085 Rivers Ave North Charleston, SC 29406
  • Attendee Cost: Free

Become a Vendor at Money Fair 2014

We would like to extend to you an invitation to be a  sponsor or vendor at this year’s Money Fair! As a vendor at Money Fair 2014 with only a $50 investment you will receive:

  • The opportunity to reach more than 300 individuals in your target market with your products and services and position yourself in front of a variety of local financial service providers, employment agencies and small businesses
  • Increased exposure and visibility in the local community through generous media attention, highlights on our social media profiles (including Facebook and Twitter) and targeted face-to-face interaction with ideal clients.


Secure Merchant Account Credit Card Processing.Merchant Account

Secure Merchant Account Credit Card Processing.Merchant Account

Thrifty Friday Night

Tonight is Fashion’s Night Out and, while many Columbia women love the new fall fashions, the deep rich shades, the faux furs and jewel tones, their budgets simply do not allow for much luxury spending. In tough economic times when one of every seven adults is receiving assistance with groceries, everyone appreciates that reality. So, for the very thrifty local fashionista, there is a very inexpensive way to have a night out and to find excellent deals for only one dollar. There is no punch and cookies, but a diet Pepsi is fine if your total bill for a new pair of jeans, a new sweater or a new dress is $1.00. That’s all it takes to go shopping at Goodwill on Thursday, Friday, and through the weekend.Goodwill Industries International of Columbia has a half price savings corner filled with racks most days and one dollar racks beginning on Thursday. There are many Goodwill thrift stores in Columbia. Just enter your zip code to in the box where it says, “Find Your Local Goodwills.”

The one dollar racks are crammed with tanks, tops, knits, tees, beaded tops, sweaters, suits, skirts, dresses, jeans, trousers, leggings, and much more. There are almost always a few pieces of negligee and formals (lots of formals, bridesmaid gowns and gorgeous brand new wedding gowns this week). It’s a great way to spend an hour or two, and hidden treasures are sure to show up. It wouldn’t be surprising if you met people you know there taking advantage of the bargains too. The sale racks usually drop to fifty cents on Sunday for even better fashion fishing.

The dollar racks can also help thrifty fashion shoppers earn a little extra money by purchasing name brand clothing in mint condition, such as Jones New York Sport, Polo by Ralph Lauren and Bill Blass and reselling them on eBay or at your local consignment shop for much more than you paid. Some items are actually donated brand new and have store price tags attached. These are perfectly good for gifting throughout the year.

Goodwill’s stated mission is: “Goodwill Industries International enhances the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work.

Every person has the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.

We treat all people with dignity and respect. We honor our heritage by being socially, financially and environmentally responsible. We strive to meet the highest ethical standards We challenge each other to strive for excellence and to continually learn. We embrace continuous improvement, bold creativity and change.”

Manage Your Money

Title: Manage Your Money
Location: Financial Training Center
Start Time: 18:30:00
Date: 2012-03-15
End Time: 20:30:00

Money Mindset

Title: Money Mindset
Location: Finanacial Training Center
Start Time: 18:30:00
Date: 2012-03-08
End Time: 20:30:00

To Your Credit

Title: To Your Credit
Location: Financial Training Center
Start Time: 18:30:00
Date: 2012-03-10
End Time: 20:30:00

Fact Finder

Title: Fact Finder
Location: Financial Training Center
Description: The Fact Finder is a monthly screening seminar that is FREE to attend. You will find out how to get started on the path to home ownership by finding out exactly where you are in the home buying process.
Start Time: 06:30 pm
Date: 2011-08-22

Homeownership Fundamentals

Title: Homeownership Fundamentals
Location: The Financial Training Center, 2154 N. Center St., Suite 201-B, North Charleston SC
Link out: Click here
Description: Homeownership Fundamentals is a 2-day intensive training designed to help first-time home buyers become credit worthy and financially prepare for home ownership. Buying a home is the single largest investment that you will make in your lifetime and this course will equip you with the information, skills and resources necessary to prepare for the responsibilities of home ownership, empower you to make smart decisions throughout the home buying process, and connect you to the most affordable mortgage products, including any down payment and/or closing cost assistance programs for which you may qualify. To register or for more information, visit the class’s page or call 843-225-4343.
Start Time: 09:00
Date: 2011-04-23
End Time: 14:00