“I shall never use profanity…except in discussing house rent and taxes.” ~Mark Twain. April 15 is just a few days away…and hopefully this year’s tax season hasn’t caused too much profanity in your household. Of course it’s always wise to be careful about criticizing the IRS, but no matter what you feel like saying about them at the moment, they have compiled these helpful tips for last-minute filers:
Go electronic. The biggest advice the IRS has for last-minute filers is to file an e-return rather than a paper tax form. The IRS considers this the best step for ensuring that your return is complete and accurate.
Check it carefully – then check it again. If you choose to file a paper return, make sure you double-check your numbers and figures. The numbers to check most carefully are the identification numbers–usually Social Security numbers–for each person listed. Missing, illegible, or incorrect Social Security Numbers can reduce or delay a tax refund.
Also, you should double check that you have correctly calculated the refund or balance due, and that you have used the right figure from the tax table. If you are entitled to a refund this year, make sure that your financial institution’s routing and account numbers are entered accurately. Incorrect numbers can cause the refund to be delayed or even misdirected.
Sign on the bottom line. Don’t forget to sign and date your return. If you are filing a joint return, both spouses must sign it…even if only one had income. Also, anyone that you pay to help prepare your return must sign it as well.
Make payable to…? If you owe taxes this year, you must make the check out to “United States Treasury.” Do not make the check out to “IRS.” Your payment should be enclosed with the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher (if used), but do not attach your payment to either document.
Don’t throw away those labels. If you choose to mail a paper return, use the peel-off label on the tax booklet. You can line through and make corrections right on the label if necessary. If you do not have a peel-off label, fill in all requested information clearly, including the Social Security numbers.
Don’t be late! By the April 15 due date, taxpayers should either file a return or request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.