TRACED Act sets fines for robocallers

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act) was signed into law on December 30, 2019.  This new U.S. law will set fines on spam robocallers and requires phone companies to adapt call authentication technologies to deter robocalls.   The FTC and FCC government agencies also have some instructions to reduce the number of received robocalls.

Spam text messages should not be responded to, including the STOP reply.  This lets the sender know that the phone number is legitimate.  Do not click any links in these text messages. These unwanted messages can be be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by forwarding them to 7726 (SPAM).

File income taxes for free using the IRS Free File Program

U.S. taxpayers have the option to file their income taxes for free using the Free File Program from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $69,000 or less (2019 tax year requirement).   The tax preparer must start the filing process at instead of a commercial tax software website in order to avoid being prompted for payment.

The Free File program is part of an agreement between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of tax software companies.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC) can also provide help to low income individuals with tax issues.