The tax deadline is upon us! If you haven’t filed yet, you are not alone. Most people who are due tax refunds file early in the year, so you might be one of the taxpayers who hasn’t filed because you will owe taxes. But no matter whether you are due a tax refund or owe money, with just one day left before the tax deadline, it’s time to hop to it. Here’s how:
- Get started. Gather together your W-2s and 1099s. If you claim the standard deduction, that is probably all that you need by way of paperwork to go online and file. If you itemize tax deductions, get your receipts together for tax-deductible expenses you had during the year, like charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee expenses, or job search expense.
- Double-check important information. Don’t rush when entering information like social security numbers. One of the top mistakes taxpayers make when rushing to meet the tax deadline is entering incorrect Social Security numbers for their children and spouses, and even mis-spelling their name!
- E-file if you can. According to the IRS, self-prepared e-filed tax returns from home computers are up almost 3% compared to last tax season. TurboTax makes it easy to e-file your taxes online in the convenience of your own home. The TurboTax Mobile App even allows you to start filing your taxes on one device and move seamlessly across devices so you can do your taxes anytime, anywhere. If you take your taxes to someone you most likely will have to wait in a long line or be put on extension at this point. Avoid long lines and the hassle of making an appointment by going online to prepare your return.
- Choose direct deposit. Having your tax refund direct deposited to your account is easy, secure and the fastest way to get your tax refund. If you e-file with direct deposit, the IRS expects to issue nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less, compared to six to eight weeks for paper-filed tax returns.
- Get a last-minute tax deduction. Up until Monday, April 18, you can contribute up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re over 50) to your traditional individual retirement account (IRA) and take advantage of a 2015 tax deduction for your contribution. Just make sure you tell the administrator that your contribution is for 2015 otherwise they may assume that your contribution is for 2016.
- File even if you owe. Although you can get an extra six months to file your taxes with an extension, a tax extension is an extension to file, not an extension to pay. If you owe money, pay as much as you can. If you can’t pay, you may be eligible for an installment payment plan for up to six years.
- Get help. If you have tax questions, you can get them answered by our TurboTax tax experts (who are CPAs and Enrolled Agents) when you use TurboTax Online. If you are using the TurboTax mobile app, exclusive through TurboTax SmartLook, you can connect live via one-way video to get your question answered in real-time for free.