8 Last Minute Tax Tips to Make the Tax Extension Deadline (1440 × 600 px)(1)
8 Last Minute Tax Tips to Make the Tax Extension Deadline (411 × 600 px)(1)

8 Last Minute Tax Tips to Make the Tax Extension Deadline

If you filed for a tax extension on April 18, you have until the October 17 tax extension deadline to file your taxes.

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The air will start cooling down soon indicating fall, and another important tax day is quickly approaching! If you filed for a tax extension on April 18, you have until the October 17 tax extension deadline to file your taxes. I know there has been a lot going on this year and you may have needed the additional time, but don’t worry TurboTax is here for you. Here are eight last-minute tax tips to help you easily and accurately file your taxes by the final tax deadline.

  1. Gather your documents in one place. When you sit down to file your taxes, make sure you have all the necessary documents like W-2s, 1099s, receipts for expenses, mortgage interest, and your kids’ social security numbers in front of you.
  2. Go online and e-file. Even though it’s the last-minute crunch, you don’t need to stress. TurboTax makes it easy to e-file your taxes online from the comfort of your home. With TurboTax, you have the luxury of filing your taxes seamlessly across devices, anytime and anywhere you want. You can conveniently jump-start your taxes by snapping a photo of your W-2 with your phone or tablet, and watch as your information is securely put into the correct tax forms eliminating data entry. You can start on your phone, take a break, and finish your taxes on your computer. By going online to prepare your taxes, you can save time and money, avoiding the necessity to go out anywhere. You can also connect live via one-way video, online and from your mobile device, and fully hand your taxes over to a TurboTax Live tax expert with an average 12 years experience, to get you through the final 2021 tax deadline.
  3. E-file with direct deposit. If you are expecting a tax refund, e-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund. The IRS expects to issue nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less of acceptance when you e-file with direct deposit, compared to what normally takes six to eight weeks for paper-filed tax returns, but can take longer now.
  4. Double-check important information. According to the IRS, 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. Make sure you have the correct Social Security numbers when you prepare your taxes. Correct Social Security numbers are required to get valuable tax deductions and credits.
  5. Be Aware of Tax Benefits for Dependents. Dependents can be worth valuable tax deductions and credits. Even though TurboTax helps you so that you don’t miss out on tax benefits you’re eligible for, you should gather your receipts related to your dependents like receipts for daycare and even summer camp since you may be able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Don’t forget, you may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit worth up to $6,728 in 2021  with three or more kids and the Child Tax Credit. There is also a credit for supporting non-child dependents like your parents or grandparents called the Other Dependent Credit which is worth $500.
  6. Don’t forget what you did last year. Although more taxpayers will take the standard deduction (TurboTax estimates and the IRS confirmed about 90%) versus itemized deductions under tax reform, including a few additional receipts for itemized deductions may push you over the standard deduction, lowering your tax liability.
  7. Remember to include charitable contributions made throughout the year. Starting in  tax year 2021, you can deduct up to $600 per tax return of qualified cash contributions if you take the standard deduction and are married filing jointly or up to $300 per tax return for any other filing status.
  8. File even if you owe. If you filed a tax extension and e-file your taxes by the October 17 tax deadline, you will avoid a failure-to-file penalty of 5% per month of the unpaid tax liability. Even if you owe money, you can ask the IRS for an installment agreement when you file your taxes. The installment agreement will allow you to pay your tax debt over six years.

*Note the IRS recently announced COVID penalty relief for certain 2019 and 2020 individual and business tax returns filed late. The relief applies to failure-to-file penalties, which are typically 5% per month up to 25% of any unpaid tax at the time tax returns are due. To qualify, any eligible 2019 or 2020 individual tax returns have to be filed by September 30, 2022. If penalties were already paid for those tax years the IRS will be issuing refunds or credits by the end of September.

TurboTax Live Tax Experts Are Here for You. Don’t worry about knowing tax laws.  You can come to TurboTax and fully hand your taxes over to a TurboTax Live tax expert available in English and Spanish and get your taxes done from start to finish. All from the comfort of your home.

*There have been so many natural disasters this year. If you were a victim of a federally declared natural disaster, the IRS offers relief in many cases, whether in the form of extensions to pay or file your taxes.

Lisa Greene-Lewis

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Lisa has appeared on the Steve Harvey Show, the Ellen Show, and major news broadcast to break down tax laws and help taxpayers understand what tax laws mean to them. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to taxpayers to help them keep more of their money is paramount. More from Lisa Greene-Lewis

4 responses to “8 Last Minute Tax Tips to Make the Tax Extension Deadline”

  1. You made a statement on informing people of the deadline for taxes. You stated May 17th that’s and error. It is April 18th.

    • Hi Gwendolyn,

      This article was published last year for the 2020 tax year (the taxes you likely filed in 2021). However, there is still time to file your 2021 taxes today before 11:59PM! If you think you need more time you can also file an extension by tonight to give you until October to get your taxes done.

      Hope this helps!
      Katharina Reekmans

  2. Turbo tax Home and business for 2014 is not showing the payments I made for Fed or State with extensions. Then are shown under Deductions and credits, Extension of time to file but NOT on my Tax forms!

    I went through all of the recommended processes but the payments still do not show up on the tax form and still show as DUE amounts at the top of the step-by step!

    What is the problem?


    • Hi Nelson,
      Sorry you are having a problem. The payments you made with your extensions should be in the area you are referring to “Deductions and Credits, Estimates and Other Taxes paid”. Look at your form 1040 and see if your federal payment is reflected on line 70 “Amount paid with request for extension to file”. If not, please call our support so that you can actually talk to them and you can walk through where you are in your return. Here is how you contact a support agent https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2731002-turbotax-support-phone-number
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

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