April 15 Tax Deadline: Filing Do’s & Don’ts | Obamacare, Penalties, More

April 15 Tax Deadline: Filing Do’s & Don’ts | Obamacare, Penalties, More

The April 15 tax deadline is just a day away, leaving many taxpayers scrambling to get their 2014 taxes done.

If you’re one of the many people who haven’t filed yet, don’t panic- there is still time to get your taxes done or file an extension if you need to.

To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you avoid mistakes and file right.

Do File Electronically

Filing electronically, according to the IRS, will save you time, cut down on errors and can be done for free.

You can use e-file or IRS Free file to get your taxes done on time at no cost and with no errors, because the software will guide you.

As Jane, an IRS  representative, explained to us, errors are one of  the biggest headaches for taxpayers, causing them time and money. Using the free tax software can help combat this.

Don’t File An Extension Because You Owe Money

If you are considering filing an extension (which gives you an additional 6 months to file) ask yourself why?

If it’s because you owe money, then think twice. The extension gives you extra time to file, not pay: you still must pay by April 15 or you will incur penalties, fees and interest on the money you owe.

Do Set Up A Payment Plan

If you owe money and can’t pay, you can set up a payment plan with the IRS.  According to the IRS, they will work with you to make your payments affordable and will provide a low interest rate (about 3 %).

Do Report If You Had healthcare

Under Obamacare, everyone was required to have health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty. Failing to report if you didn’t have insurance will not help you avoid those penalties.

If you fail to tell the IRS, they will investigate and you will end up paying even stiffer penalties. Right now, failure to have insurance will cost 1% of your annual family income, or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child under the age of eighteen, capping out at $285 for a family.

Don’t Fail To File An Extension if You Need To

If you do need to file an extension, make sure you do it by April 15 using form 4868. Failing to file the extension by the midnight deadline will result in tax penalties that can add up quickly.

If you owe money and need an extension, then pay what you think you owe. If you pay too much it will be refunded to you.

Do Use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant

The Interactive Tax Assistant Tool can help ensure you get any credits or deductions you’re entitled to, such as the Earned Income Credit or the Education Credit.

Finally, if you need to, the IRS has help both online and by phone. But be advised that with April 15 just a day away, the phone lines will be jammed.

Have you already filed your taxes?  Share your experience with us or offer some advice below!

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I am a mom to 2 little boys: a 3 year- old and 2 year-old and they are the only things I love more than writing. I am an avid reader, a big sports fan and love a good deal. Most of all, I love keeping up on the latest consumer news and sharing my findings with all of you.