Tax Tips for Last Minute Filers
IRS News Release
With the tax filing deadline of April 15 close at hand, the IRS wants taxpayers to know several excellent tips to consider if they are still working on their federal tax return.
“It’s important the taxpayers carefully review their tax returns before filing,” said IRS spokesman David A. Tucker II. “Accuracy is always important. There may also be credits taxpayers are eligible for that will help reduce their tax responsibility or increase their refunds.”
Last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created a full slate of tax breaks, which can be claimed on tax returns right now. These include the
Homebuyer Credit, Making Work Pay Credit, American Opportunity Credit, Home Energy Credit, and New Car Tax and Fee Deduction. More information at IRS.gov/recovery
Here are twelve important tax tips to keep in mind:
Don’t Miss the Deadline: If you have a balance due and don’t file a tax return by April 15, you face interest on the unpaid taxes as well as a failure-to-file penalty. Interest and penalties are added to your balance due. If you can’t file by the deadline, request an extension of time to file (See Tip #9 below).
E-file your return: Don’t miss out on the benefits of e-file. Your tax return will get processed quickly and if there is an error on your return, it will typically be identified and corrected right away. E-file is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the convenience of your own home. If you file electronically and choose to have your tax refund deposited directly into your bank account, you will have your money in as few as 10 days.
Review tax ID numbers: Remember to carefully check all identification numbers on your return. Incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
Double-check your figures: Whether you are filing electronically or by paper, review all the amounts you transferred over from your Forms W-2 or 1099.
Review your math: Taxpayers filing paper returns should also double-check that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table.
Sign and date your return: Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.
Choose Direct Deposit: To receive your refund quicker, select Direct Deposit and the IRS will deposit your refund directly into your bank account.
How to make a payment: People sending a payment should make the check out to “United States Treasury” and should enclose it with, but not attach it to, the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Write your name, address, SSN, telephone number, tax year and form number on the check or money order. If you file electronically, you can file and pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal. Whether you file a paper return or file electronically, you can pay by phone or online using a credit or debit card. Take into account the reputation and trustworthiness of card payment providers when comparing. Visit IRS.gov for more information on payment options.
File an extension: Taxpayers who will not be able to file a return by the April 15 deadline should request an extension of time to file. If you can’t meet the April 15 filing deadline, get an automatic six-month extension of time to file by filing Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File. The form needs to be submitted by April 15. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
Before you seal the envelope or hit send, go over all the information on your return again. Errors may delay the processing of your return, so it’
Visit the IRS Web site anytime of the day or night: IRS.gov has forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects.
Review your return …one more time: It’s best for you to make sure everything on your return is correct.
Know that Help Is Available: For more information about filing and paying your taxes, visit 1040 Central on IRS.gov. Important information is also available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. Forms and publications are available for download from IRS.gov or can be ordered by calling toll free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).