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. But no matter whether you are due a tax refund or owe money, with just one day left before the tax deadline (11:59 pm local time on Tuesday, April 18), 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 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 expenses.
- 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 gathering incorrect Social Security numbers for their children and spouses, and even misspelling their name!
- E-file if you can. 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 told to file an extension at this point. Avoid long lines and the hassle of making an appointment by going online to prepare your return.
- Choose direct deposit. E-filing your tax return with direct deposit is 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 of acceptance, 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 2016 tax deduction for your contribution. Just make sure you tell the administrator that your contribution is for 2016 otherwise they may assume that your contribution is for 2017.
- 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 use TurboTax SmartLook™ and connect live via one-way video to a credentialed CPA or enrolled agent to get your toughest tax questions answered in real-time when you need it – at no additional cost. Screen sharing capability allows the TurboTax expert to show relevant information and highlight next steps right on the screen so you can file with confidence. Bilingual experts speaking English and Spanish are also available.
Don’t worry about knowing tax laws and forms. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and give you the tax deductions and credits you deserve based on your answers.