5 Tips for Last Minute Filers

Tips for last minute filers
This year’s April 18th tax deadline is less than two weeks away. Yes, you heard me…less than two weeks before T-DAY arrives.

People wait until the last minute to file their taxes for a variety of reasons – and the fact it’s one of the most stressful yearly events doesn’t help. So if you are late to the party this year, don’t worry. Here are some tips to make sure you stay on good terms with the IRS.

If you think you will not make the deadline, file an extension.
You are two days for April 15th and you haven’t given your accountant any information needed to begin your taxes, this maybe a sign that you need to file an extension, which is pretty simple. Just fill out the Form 4868 over the phone, by online or by mail. Your deadline will be automatically extended to October 15, 2016.

Nevertheless, the extension gives you more time to file and avoid paying a penalty. However, if you owe the IRS money, you will still need to pay by April 15th. You will need to estimate the amount of taxes you owe and send it in to the IRS.

Stay calm, if you don’t owe any money.
Breathe a sigh of relief, if you don’t owe money, but will have a refund during this tax season. PHEW! There is no PENALTY for filing after April 15th. If you don’t file on time, then that means that you have to wait for your tax refund. The main drawback to waiting longer to file is you run the risk of increase in tax refund fraud.

Ask for an installment plan.
If you believe that you can pay the full amount that is owed by April 15th, there are some options. The IRS does have an installment plan, which allows you to make monthly payments. However, this service does not come free: You’ll have to pay a setup fee of $52 (or $105 for plans without direct debit withdrawals). You’ll also be charged interest that’s adjusted quarterly and a monthly 0.25 percent late fee.

If you need to request an installment plan, you still need to file or request an extension by April 15th. If you don’t, your tax bill will only increase. The IRS will charge you a 5 percent monthly failure-to-pay penalty, up to 25 percent of the balance. If you go more than 60 days overdue, the minimum penalty is $100 or 100 percent of the tax due, whichever is less. Ouch.

Don’t RUSH!
Everyone knows when T-DAY is, and unfortunately for you, you procrastinated until 2 days before your taxes were due. DON’T RUSH! When you rush you are sure to miss critical deductions. Did you have a baby, get married, or buy a new house? These changes make a big difference in your tax deduction. Also be careful not to input incorrect information. Doing so could delay your refund.

After you have filled out your tax forms, carefully look over the identification or Social Security numbers for each person listed on your return. Double check your figures and then check again. Finally, make sure all the necessary forms are signed.

E-file your taxes.
Most tax filers choose e-file. Not only does, filing your taxes electronically reduce your chances of error, it’s typically easier and offers quicker tax refunds.  And if you want your refund even faster, choose to have the funds direct deposited. Those who combine e-file with direct deposit can get their refunds in as few as 10 days, according to the IRS.

Rozialyn Burison is a professional organizer for homes, businesses, and students and provides virtual organizing.

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