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Tax law is complicated, but it's not intentionally so

As children, many of us may have feared the imaginary monster under our bed. Most folks in Minnesota and Wisconsin reading this would likely agree that even after we grow out of those childhood fears, there are plenty of real things to be afraid of. One of the biggest for those of the millennial generation is being pursued by the Internal Revenue Service.

That's according to the finance adviser company, NerdWallet. It conducted a survey of millennials – defined as that segment of the population between the ages of 18 and 34 – and what it found is that this demographic is more afraid of filing tax returns than any other previous generation.

The reasons why aren't abundantly clear, but some experts suggest that a lot of it might have to do with the millennial generation being like no other when it comes to how individuals make money. Revenue might come in through online sales. Many generate their income doing gig work like driving for Uber or through some other contract resource.

They may be unaware that they fall into a category of independent business operators who are expected to file quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS. They only find out about it after payments have been missed and the IRS sends them a letter printed on paper and delivered through snail mail stating that they are expecting payment. What?

Not surprisingly, the typical reaction fear. But fear can be stifling and when a letter arrives from the IRS – even if it is on paper – experts agree that the worst thing the recipient can do is do nothing.

Unfortunately, many millennials tend to do just that. Or, they turn to their most trusted resource – their social network of online friends and family members. Most experts would also agree that they really should be turning directly to the IRS, because as long as communication is underway with the agency, bad things can be avoided.

Other constructive options for obtaining help could include taking one of the various tax tutorials that are available online, such as "Quarterly, Schmarterly." Another is to speak with a skilled tax attorney if the issues you face are serious.

Tax law is complicated, but it's not intentionally so and help is available.

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