The following is a guest post from Manuel Davis, a tax accountant at Back Taxes Help, LLC. Manny has been helping taxpayers with State and IRS back taxes for over 10 years now. His firm resolves tax problems such as tax liens, tax wage garnishment, tax audits and more.
Only a few days remain before the April 15th tax filing deadline. If you haven't filed your taxes yet, don't panic! There is still time – here are some last minute filing tips:
- File your tax return even if you owe the IRS money you can't pay right now. The penalty for filing your taxes after April 15th is about 10 times higher than paying taxes you owe late.
- If you owe more taxes than you can afford to pay right now, set up a payment plan to make smaller, more manageable payments. The only drawback is you end up paying more in the long run due to interest.
- Don't rush through completing your tax return even though you're limited on time. Instead, set aside as much time as possible to work on the return until it's completed. Rushing results in mistakes and mistakes on a tax return will cost you money – whether it's money owed to you in a refund, or penalties paid for mistakes you make.
- Get all of your paperwork together to prove you qualify for credits and deductions you want to include on your return. If you're missing paperwork, you don't have much time to find it so you'll need to file without claiming that deduction or credit or file for a tax return extension to give yourself more time to come up with the required paperwork. Extensions will give you until October 15th to file your tax return.
- E-file your return. Returns that are filed electronically are processed quicker and the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are owed a refund, you can have it deposited into your bank account automatically and give you the refund in as few as 10 days.
- Double check that your social security number is correct on every page of your return. An incorrect social security number can delay or even reduce the amount of your tax refund.
- If filing on paper through the mail, make sure to double and triple check your math! Use a calculator and make sure that you've selected the right amount from the tax table when calculating your refund or balance due.
- Remember to sign and date your return.
- If you are making a payment to the IRS, make a check out to the “United States Treasury” and enclose the tax return, Form 1040-V, or payment voucher if you have one. Make sure to include your social security number and tax year on the check in the memo section in case it gets separated from your paperwork.
- Visit the IRS website to make sure you're getting all deductions you're entitled to. New deductions and tax credits are added each tax year.
- Make copies of all tax return documents and supporting receipts and forms. You'll need a copy in case you are audited or the IRS loses your return.
- Before hitting submit on an e-file tax return or sealing the envelope, go over all the information on your tax return one last time before sending in.
With just a few days left before the April 15th tax filing deadline, it's time to get your paperwork together and file your return. These tips should help you get your return in on time – but if you need an extension, make sure you know that an extension for filing is not an extension for making a payment.