Many Americans Will Struggle to Pay Taxes Amid This Year’s State Income Tax Hikes

Atlanta residents might not be looking forward to paying taxes on April 15. But hey, at least Georgians don't have to worry about a state income tax increase like the ones in California and Illinois - and potentially a handful of other states with major budget gaps.

That said, paying an ordinary tax bill is no cakewalk in today's economy. On the one hand, many Americans will save a little bit of money thanks to the Social Security payroll tax cut President Obama signed last December. On the other hand, years of tough financial times and growing debts are really starting to take a toll on U.S. consumers, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

If you fear that this year's tax payment could present a real hardship, don't push tax time out of your mind until the night of April 14. Denial is only going to make the situation more difficult. With four months to go, you have plenty of time to tidy up your finances.

Estimate your tax bill based on last year's payment, factoring in any changes in income or your financial situation. Then, start setting aside a little bit from each paycheck to cover your estimate, making some budget adjustments along the way if necessary. By the time April rolls around, you'll have the money all ready to go - easy-peasy.

But maybe your dilemma is that you can't afford to save any money - it's already going to things like paying the mortgage and your credit card bills. Fortunately, you've still got options. In the worst case situation, you can put your tax bill on a credit card, borrow money from a family member or ask for an extension. Of course, these methods are only a way to buy some time - ultimately, you're still going to have to pay the amount that you owe. (And don't even think about not paying. If you think your financial situation is bad now, just imagine how difficult it would be to have the government taking money directly from your bank account.)

But what if I told you there was a way to make your taxes - and the rest of your life - more affordable? It's not a gimmick - it's your legal right, and it's known as bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can lower debt, freeing money up for obligations like your taxes. It can offer legal protection against repossession and foreclosure. And in some cases, it can also help you pay off old tax bills. And the most convenient part about bankruptcy? It's free to find out if it's right for you during a one-on-one personal debt analysis with a professional bankruptcy attorney in Atlanta.

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