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A symbiotic relationship: You & the IRS

By Dexter Hall

A symbiotic relationship occurs when two organisms, individuals or groups of people work together by helping one another with the intent of getting help in return. In a symbiotic relationship, the two people or groups of people live together to provide the greatest benefits to one another.

OK, I know we could debate the point of mutually beneficial, but nevertheless we are definitely in the relationship so lets make sure we understand it and get the most from it.

Here we go …

It’s hard to believe that the 2022 Tax Filing Season is here.

After the world wind of change we have had in each of our lives over the last couple of years, including with our good friend, the Internal Revenue Service, it's time to catch up and make sure we all understand the current guidelines of our “friendship.”

The IRS this year began accepting and processing Individual Tax Returns on Jan. 24.

Our friend the IRS also has a program called, “IRS Free File.” This filing process opened Jan. 14 and allows taxpayers with under $73,000 to file their tax returns at no-cost through IRS Free File partners. The IRS Free File allows you to file your tax return online using free guided tax preparation or using free fillable forms.

Take a look at the IRS partner site for more information on the Free File program. Providers of this free program include and TaxAct,.com. You can also find other providers to receive a free federal tax return using this link Browse All Offers.

In addition to the IRS, our friends at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have created an easy to navigate site with a guide to filing your taxes in 2022.

2021 brought lots of changes to programs like the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC). Information can also be obtained on Earned Income tax credits (EITC) and on new programs where taxpayers received assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance and Recovery Rebate Credits.

Please review this information to ensure you are prepared for a successful filing of your 2021 tax returns.

There is also FREE in-person assistance to help you through the tax filing process with all of the changes in 2021. Please reach out to the following Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in our community:

University High School / AJ Moore Academy

Ron E. Smith Academy of Business and Finance

Open — Jan. 25 - April 14

Hours — Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Appointments not required

Languages — English, Spanish

Tarleton State University VITA

McLennan Community College

Michaelis Academic Center

Room 202

Open — Feb. 19

Hours — Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Appointments not required

Languages — English, Spanish

La Vega High School Business Program

McLennan County/Waco Central Waco Library

Central Meeting Room

1717 Austin Ave.

Waco, TX


Open — Feb. 16 and 23, March 16, 23, and 30, April 6 and 13

Hours — 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Appointments not required

Languages — English, Spanish

Note: In-person services could change based on COVID-19 protocols at each site.

As you work to ensure a great friendship in this symbiotic relationship with our friend the IRS here are some key dates:

  • Jan. 14: IRS Free File opened. Taxpayers began filing returns through IRS Free File partners; tax returns were transmitted to the IRS starting Jan. 24. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.

  • Jan. 24: IRS began 2022 tax season. Individual 2021 tax returns began being accepted and processing begins

  • Jan. 28: Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day raised awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.

  • April 18: Due date to file 2021 tax return or request extension.

  • Oct. 17: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2021 tax returns.

If you need further assistance or more information to ensure you get the most out of your symbiotic relationship with our friend the IRS, please contact me at

Lastly, if you would like to learn more or assist us with the implementation of the Blueprint for Financial and Economic Security for all Wacoans, please feel free to contact me as well at

Until next, please ensure you learn, nurture, and grow your friendship with the good ol’ IRS.

Dexter Hall is chief of staff and senior specialist for financial security with Prosper Waco.


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