Last Minute Filer – What you need to know!
By the time you read this, the tax deadline — which is Thursday, April 15 — maybe just a few days away! If you’re a last-minute filer, as many people are, here are a few tips to help you cross the finish line as efficiently and stress-free as possible.
1. Take advantage of IRS e-file
This option is quick, easy, and available to all taxpayers. Those under certain income thresholds (such as $72,000 for individual filers) can also file for free using this option. It’s also secure, so you know your tax information won’t end up in the wrong hands.
2. Make sure everything is correct — and check again!
Last-minute filers often feel rushed, and when you feel rushed, you’re more likely to miss something or make a mistake. It’s okay to take a break and take a few breaths. Take a few minutes to read your return line by line so you can be sure you didn’t miss anything.
3. Sign only when certain!
After you’ve checked (and re-checked) every piece of information and number on your return, only then sign and date. Doing this last helps you avoid many common mistakes, such as incorrect or omitted information. If you’re filing jointly, make sure your spouse signs too. Forgetting this step can cause major headaches later on.
4. Check the address
This is for filers mailing their return. The IRS has different addresses for various purposes, and there are different locations per state or region. If it isn’t clear where you should be sending your return, you can find the correct address by searching on IRS.gov.
5. Pay electronically
If you owe, the quickest and easiest way to pay is via the web. The IRS has the option to pay with a direct withdrawal or via debit or credit card (though these may come with processing fees).
6. Request an extension
If you’re really getting down to the wire or you know you simply won’t be able to make the April 15 deadline, you can file for an extension. This gives you six additional months to prepare your tax return. If you choose to file for an extension, this only applies to filing the return itself — it does NOT apply to submitting payment. You must pay any taxes due to the IRS by the April 15 deadline.
Filing at the last minute can be stressful, but remember, as long as your return and/or payment is dated by midnight April 15, you’re golden. Just remember to take it step by step. Read any and all instructions. You may find that even though you’re down to the wire, you may end up with a little more time than you realized.
If you have any “last-minute filer” questions, you can also check our website for free resources here. We’re always here to help.