If you haven’t filed your taxes yet we have some good news for you: this year’s deadline has been extended to April 18th instead of the 15th.
Why? Because Emancipation Day, (which the powers-that-be in DC recognize as a holiday), falls on April 16th, which is a Saturday, so the DC-folks are marking it on the 15th, giving everyone until Monday the 18th to file.
While that is good news, it still only gives you about a week to file, so if you haven’t started yet here are some tips to help you get through it:
•E-File & Use Direct Deposit: Filing online saves you time, money, and cuts down on errors.
Using an online site prep service means less mathematical errors and gives you a way to check what you submit- before you hit send.
You also get automatic confirmation your taxes have been received (no worries it got lost in the mail) and get your refund quicker if you opt for direct deposit.
Those who make under $62,000 a year, you can prepare your taxes for free using the IRS Free File website
•Organize Before You Start: Make sure you have all your information, including income, deductions and Social Security numbers for your spouse and dependents before you start.
Also, have last year’s taxes on hand, as they can help guide you to any deductions or credits you may qualify for again and alert you to any papers you may need.
•Deductions & Credits Made Easy: One of the most time-consuming and confusing part of doing taxes is knowing what to deduct and get credit for.
If you use a service like TurboTax, TaxACT and H&R Block, it will take you through the processes, making it simple and easy to maximize savings (and even explaining what the credits are if you’re unsure).
If you don’t use them you can still cash in by using your life events from the past year to guide you.
For example, if you had a new baby or changed jobs you may qualify for a child credit or could write off job search expenses.
Just be sure to have receipts for any purchases you plan to deduct.
•File An Extension: If you have to file late, request an extension using form 4868, which will give you up to 6 months to file.
Keep in mind though, that the extension is only to file- if you owe money you still have to pay by the 18th.
Even if you can’t pay, you still need to file to avoid penalties; You can also ask for an installment agreement to pay monthly.
And finally, double check all your information before submitting it. Make sure your name, birth-date and all the numbers you entered are correct.
Do you still need to file your 2016 taxes?
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