I wish the best for you in your situation and hope you don’t get that dreaded pink slip. Remember that we are filing right now for the 2008 tax year so if your situation changes in 2009 you will generally deal with that next year. So perhaps not a bad idea to do some tax planning based on where you are now or could be to save in 2009. For example, the new law enacted last week offers a tax credit called the “Making Work Pay Credit” that will put up to $800 ($400 for single filers and up to $800 for joint filers) in your pocket this year through reduced federal tax withholding. You should see increased pay reflected in your paycheck(s) soon. That said, for those who have a job or not, the advice is pretty much the same: keep accurate paperwork and take FULL advantage what’s in the tax code (legally, of course) based on your situation to lower your tax bill. You should pay no more or less than what you owe. If you get in a bind with your taxes, however, please know the IRS is flexible and WILL work with you.
To get your refund quickly if you’ve not filed yet use IRS E-file and choose direct deposit for your refund. Doing that gets your refund in as little as 7-10 days and sometimes even quicker than that! Finally, the IRS has created several economy-based “What if?” questions and answers on the IRS Web site that you might find especially useful. Take a look — the first one addresses your fear…but let’s hope that doesn’t happen: