The article below is up to date based on the latest tax laws. It is accurate for your 2019 taxes (filed in 2020) and 2018 taxes, which should be filed by the April 15th, 2019 (or October 2019 with filed extension) deadline
The final extension deadline for the tax year 2018 is right around the corner on October 15, but you still have plenty of time to meet the final tax deadline and avoid a late-filing penalty if you file online and follow these six 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 and tax year.
3. Review Information Entered: Make sure you double-check the names and social security numbers of your dependents and spouse if you are married. Incorrect social security numbers may cause you to miss out on valuable tax deductions.
4. Go Online and E-file: 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. TurboTax makes it easy to e-file your taxes online in the convenience of your own home.
The TurboTax Mobile App also allows you to start filing your taxes on one device and move seamlessly across devices so you can do your taxes anywhere. At this point, if you take your taxes to someone you most likely will have to wait in line to get your taxes filed. By going online to prepare your taxes, you can save time and money, avoiding long lines and the hassle of making an appointment.
5. File Even 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: Don’t worry about knowing these tax rules. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent and get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can also review sign and file your tax return.