The tax deadline is upon us! 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 17), 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. 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. 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 the tax deadline, 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 2017 tax deduction for your contribution. Just make sure you tell the administrator that your contribution is for 2017 otherwise they may assume that your contribution is for 2018.
- 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.
- Talk to a CPA or Enrolled Agent from the comfort of your couch. If you have tax questions you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. Bilingual CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available with TurboTax live.
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.