Check out these tips if you’re filing taxes on deadline

Staff reportApril 14, 2014 

Tax_Day

Terry Favers with Express Income Tax in Macon, right, goes over Carol Parker’s income taxes Monday. Parker said she had planned to have her taxes prepared on April 15 but got to it a day earlier. Favers has prepared taxes at the business for 15 years. He said, “Most people wait to the last minute because they owe money.” He advised people that may owe taxes to go ahead and file to avoid the no filing penalty.

WOODY MARSHALL — wmarshall@macon.com Buy Photo

If you’ve waited till the last day to file your taxes, you’ve got plenty of company.

About 30 million tax returns are expected to be filed in the week leading up to April 15. More than 70 percent of returns filed before April 1 receive refunds, while 61 percent of late filers end up owing money, the IRS says.

Here are some tips and things to remember if you’ve put off the dreaded task to the final hours:

• Your return will be considered on time if it’s postmarked or electronically filed on April 15. (No post offices in the Macon area will be open extended hours on Tuesday, however.)

• The three most common filing mistakes are math errors, incorrectly written Social Security numbers and failure to sign or date the return. Also check for transposed numbers and names spelled wrong.

• File even if you can’t pay. The IRS can impose a failure-to-file penalty for returns that aren’t filed on time. If you think you owe taxes, you’re expected to estimate the amount due and send it to the IRS by April 15. If not, you face a penalty for paying late. Interest will be due on underpayments. (You can enter into an agreement to pay what you owe over time.)

• Put some money into an individual retirement account. You can make those deductions all the way up to April 15.

• Send in the right forms. If you’re filing by paper, attach your forms W-2, 1099-R and any other required forms to the front of your returns. All other necessary schedules and forms are attached to the back of the form in the order indicated in the instructions.

• Pay attention to the details. Many schedules and forms have additional questions and check boxes that are easy to overlook.

• If you’re using direct deposit, make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate. Incorrect account numbers can cause a refund to be delayed or worse -- deposited into the wrong account.

• Don’t forget about mileage and other deductions, including donations to Goodwill and other charities.

• Mail your forms to the right place. You can find a listing of “where to file addresses” for individual tax forms, organized by state, on the IRS website.

• File electronically. Those returns tend to be processed faster and have fewer mistakes.

• Double-check your return.

• Consider filing for a six-month extension using form 4868 (about 10 million taxpayers do so each year). But remember: An extension to file the return isn’t an extension to pay your tax.

Sources: IRS, American Institute of CPAs, Forbes

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