Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

It’s best to prepare far earlier before the deadline. It will save you from all the hassles of last minute filing and there would be an ample time for you to thoroughly check if all the indicated details are complete and accurate. However, given that there are inevitable circumstances that didn’t allow you to accomplish at a reasonable time prior to the tax filing deadline, here are several tips to get you through last minute filing:

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  1. You can opt for electronic filing – This is the most convenient, safest and quickest way to submit your tax return that’s why it is used by almost 100 Million US taxpayers. There are e-file options that you can check on irs.gov website and you can pick one which is the most appropriate for you. If you are anticipating a tax refund, you are able to collect it sooner than when you opt for paper tax filing. Also, there is software utilized by service providers (that you can check on IRS e-filing section) that allows the user to recheck all the indicated information, you will receive an email notification if you have an error and directs you to make the correction. And finally, you can be assured that e-filing is safe because the IRS process e-filed tax returns over encrypted and secure lines. We recommend Drake Services. Ask Joyce for more information!
  2. Make sure it’s error free – You have to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the indicated information because it could affect your tax return as inaccuracy can postpone or decrease your tax refund. You have to be thorough in checking identification numbers or SS (Social Security), your dependents, spouse. Recheck your computation so that you can confirm you have the correct balance due or refund.
  3. Make sure you are mailing to the correct address – You can always go to the IRS website irs.gov – the IRS page for mailing addresses indicate the type of form that will be submitted and the corresponding address to which it should be mailed. The choice of address also depends on whether you will be enclosing payment or not. Commonly, if you are not enclosing a payment, then it should go to the Department of Treasury in Fresno CA, and it you are enclosing a payment, then it should go to the Internal Revenue Service in San Francisco CA.
  4. For IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangements) Contribution – Contributions can be accomplished to your customary IRA at any time within the year or on due date for submitting your tax file return for that particular year (which does not include extensions). To check if you are eligible for the full yearly IRA deduction in 2012, you can check http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/IRA-Deduction-Limits. Basically, it indicates that you can deduct your contribution if: First, you are not qualified to participate in a company retirement plan and Second, if you are eligible, you have less than a particular amount of AGI or adjusted gross income. For Single or head of household, the limit is $58,000 or less, for married filing jointly or qualifying widower the limit is $92,000 or less, for married filing separately, the threshold is amount less than $10,000
  5. You can file for an extension – If you are certain that you wouldn’t be able t file your taxes on time, you can always opt to file for an extension. If you failed to submit your federal income tax return by the due date, you can obtain a 6 month extension automatically by filing Form 4868 by the due date or deadline for filing your calendar year return which is usually on the 15th of April or fiscal year return. But you have to know that although IRS may grant a 6 month extension on filing, it doesn’t grant you 6 additional months to pay. You have to calculate your tax liability for 2012 and pay the amount that you owe when you file for extension. 22.5 percent is the maximum penalty for late filing and 25 percent is the penalty for late payment.
  6. Choose from few payment options
    IRS offers a few payment options: Debit or credit card, electronic funds transfer and check or money order. Logically, the electronic payment option is the most convenient and the fastest way to send your payment to the IRS. But if it is not feasible for you to send payment through these options, you can always opt to pay for check or money order. You just have to make sure it includes your information like name, phone number, address, SSN employer identification number. Make sure that you are sending to the correct address as well.
  7. Contact IRS if you can’t pay the taxes due – If you cannot pay full amount of taxes that you owe on the due date, submit your return on time and pay as much as you can to avoid interest and penalties. Than you can call IRS to check if there are alternatives or payment options available. If what you owe is less than $50,000, then there is OPA or Online Payment Agreement wherein you can request for additional time period to complete your payment. If you can’t complete your tax payment within 120 days, there is another option called IRS installment agreement. You have to accomplish an IRS form 9465-FS but you have to make sure that you have filed and completed your previous tax returns, then you also have to pay a $150 user fee, and you have to pay 4 percent of interest on the outstanding balance.
  8. Check IRS.gov – This government website provides all of the details of filing taxes. Forms and all tax information are available in this site as well.
  9. If all else fail, hire a CPA – If you are certain you won’t be able to accomplish tax filing on time. You can probably file for an extension first then you can hire a CPA and let a professional handle all the hassles for you. Although, you end up spending money for this service, think about all the time and effort that you can save. Especially if you are preoccupied with other important things.