Tax Tips for Procrastinators

The deadline to file your taxes is just around the corner and the pressure is on for procrastinators. You have one week left to get your records straight.

“Most people will tell you the most time consuming aspect of doing your own taxes is getting your documents together. So get your documents together,” said Bob Meighan of tax software provider TurboTax.

At Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Mobile, they’re busy crunching numbers and getting the information in.

“All tax documents like W2s, 1099, if they own a house, personal property, tax records, mortgage interest records and if they have any work expense then include work expenses,” said a manager at Jackson Hewitt.

Don’t let haste make for a waste of money by missing credits or deductions.

“People tend to overlook the fact that there are credits available. There are the student loan deductions which are worth quite a bit of money in total,” Meighan said.

Another overlooked area is contributions. People often undervalue items donated to charity like furniture, clothing and toys, or sometimes forget the deductions entirely.

File for an extension

Taxpayers who simply can’t get it together before April 15th, need to file IRS paperwork for an extension.

“Getting an extension doesn’t mean an extension to pay. So if you owe Uncle Sam money, you need to make sure you make the payment by April 15th, and then also file your extension request,” Meighan said.

That extension gives taxpayers until October 15th, an extra six months to stop procrastinating and file.

The federal extension form 4868 gives you until October 15th, and extra six more months to file.

If you do get hit with a penalty, that cost will vary for each individual and situation.

“The late payment penalty is something the IRS computes and sends to the tax payer,” said the manager of Jackson Hewitt.

If you want to avoid penalties all together, get going soon so you can get in, get out and hopefully get a refund.

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