Six Tips to Beat the October 15th Extended Tax Deadline

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The final extension deadline is just days away on October 15, but you still have plenty of time to meet the tax deadline and avoid a late-filing penalty if you file online and follow these 6 tips:

1.  Gather Your Documents – Make sure you have your documents like W-2s, 1099s, receipts for expenses, mortgage interest, and your kids’ social security numbers in front of you when you sit down and file.  You can follow our checklist to help you.

2.  Don’t Forget What You Did Last Year – In your haste to file your taxes at the last minute, don’t forget what you did last year.  Taxpayers  rushing to the deadline may forget they donated to charity, had job search expenses, or unreimbursed employee expenses.  These are examples of some expenses which lead to tax deductions that may lower your tax liability, so don’t forget receipts for those expenses.

3.  Review Information Entered – Make sure you double-check the names and social security numbers you entered.  Incorrect social security numbers will cause you to miss out on valuable tax deductions.

4.   File Electronically – This is a quick, easy, accurate way to file taxes online.  Your information is sent electronically to the IRS and you will receive notification of receipt from the IRS.  Mailing your tax return is inconvenient and time consuming.  Plus, you will not receive any verification of receipt from the IRS.

In addition, during the Government shut down, the IRS will not be processing mailed tax returns.

5.   Still File If You Owe – Even if you owe money, you will still need to file your taxes to avoid a late filing penalty,  which is 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month your tax return is late, not to exceed 25% of unpaid taxes.

The IRS also created the Fresh Start Initiative to give taxpayers other options when they can’t pay all of their tax liability at tax time.  Under this initiative you may be able to set up an installment agreement with the IRS and pay for your tax liability monthly.

6.  Contact Our Tax Experts if You Need Help –  If you have any last minute tax questions don’t hesitate to contact our certified tax experts.  TurboTax is up to date with the latest tax laws and is here to answer your tax questions so you can file your taxes before the final tax deadline.