Tax Tips for Last Minute Filers


The 2014 tax day deadline is approaching fast! If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you could be starting to feel the stress. The IRS is a-okay giving itself some leeway in when to send your tax refund, but they aren’t forgiving for people who procrastinate filing. So we’re here to help. Even if you’re reading this on April 14th or 15th, don’t worry. Here is a checklist of last minute tax tips to get you through the challenge!

Last Minute Tax Filing Options:

  • Filing taxes electronically is the fastest way to file your return. You have until Midnight on April 15th and can use eFile or Free File through the IRS
  • If you’re filing a paper return, make sure you’re sending it to the right place and that your tax return is postmarked for April 15th by Midnight. (Many post offices will be open late for last minute tax filers.)
  • Filing a tax extension form 4868 will buy you some time, until October 15th, but it won’t give you extra time to pay your tax bill.
  • Even if you owe money and cannot pay by April 15th, you’re better off filing and accepting the late payment penalty, than taking the penalty for not filing in the first place. If you fail to file your taxes or an extension by the tax deadline you’ll be penalized, “five percent of the tax owed for each month, or part of a month that your return is late, up to five months,” according to the IRS. Taking the 1/2 of 1% penalty you’ll receive if you file your return on time, but don’t pay your entire tax bill on time is a better option if you had to choose.

Avoid Common Tax Filing Mistakes:

  • If you are not filing electronically, make sure your tax return is written clearly.
  • Double check the accuracy on social security numbers, calculations, tax tables you’ve used, as well as routing numbers and account numbers if you’re requesting direct deposit.
  • Remember to date and sign your tax return. If you and your spouse are filing jointly, you both need to sign it.
  • Attach all required W-2s and other forms.

What if Scenarios:

So what’s your tax filing style? Are you an early bird or procrastinator?

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