Sponsored: Start of tax season means refunds and reform confront taxpayers

While most preparers provide good service to their clients, a few unscrupulous tax preparers file false and fraudulent tax returns and ultimately defraud their clients.

Thieves will stop at nothing to get your tax return and in some cases even file a return using children's social security numbers.

Because if crooks have your information, they could try to get access to your tax returns - and refund - before you can.

There's never a time when the threat of identity theft doesn't loom, but you might have to use a little more caution protecting your personal information during tax season. "That will help prevent the identity theft so many have been subject to in the past".

Eligible taxpayers can prepare and file their federal and state tax returns with TurboTax All Free, available through IRS.gov, at no cost.

Yes, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, all three states can electronically file.

"You can start, continue and finish your taxes on a mobile device, on your desktop browser or on a tablet, and the experience fits perfectly based on the screen that you're looking at it on", said Roebuck. Taxpayers can also track their refunds after they are filed. In addition, taxpayers who file taxes on time but do not pay the taxes they owe will also be fined.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free basic income tax preparation to those earning $54,000 or less, people with disabilities, the elderly and those with limited English-speaking ability. In fiscal 2017, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. April 15 falls on a Sunday and the following Monday is a holiday in Washington, D.C. It's recommended you file as soon as possible to protect against tax fraud.

Some people will notice the effects of the new tax law beginning with the paychecks they'll receive in February 2018.

The biggest argument against a big tax refund is that it's essentially the same thing as giving the IRS an interest-free loan of your own money.

Many investment companies acknowledge this difficulty by making it easier for those who can make regular periodic automatic deposits into brokerage accounts, mutual funds, or other investments with smaller initial and ongoing payments.

Before filing read through this tax checklist. Think of what you could do with that money.

  • Zachary Reyes