Fast tips for last-minute filers from the IRS
DALLAS - If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you still have options. First, you can electronically prepare and file your tax return. In most cases, you can do so for free by going to IRS.gov and clicking on the blue and green Free File icon.
"If you owe taxes, you can e-file now and pay later by setting your payment date for April 17," said Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas. "If you're going to need additional time, you can request an extension as long as you do it by April 17—this can also be accomplished with Free File.”
If you’re filing for an extension by paper, use IRS Form 4868 which you can download from IRS.gov. Remember, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
If you owe money, make your best estimate and pay that when you send your extension request. If you can't pay it all right now, file anyway. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So, if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, you should still file your tax return on time and explore other payment options in the meantime. The IRS will work with you. For more information, see1040 Central at irs.gov.
More Last Minute Tax Day Filing Tips:
1. TurboTax and H&R Block have free online editions of their software.
2. File electronically to get your refund faster. Mail in a check if you owe.
3. If you can't finish in time, make sure to file an extension to avoid a late filing penalty. You'll get an additional 6 months to file. However, filing an extension is not an extension to pay. If you owe money, pay whatever you can by April 17.
4. Many Post Offices no longer open late on Tax Day. Find the closest Post Office or Automated Postal Center at usps.com. Some Automated Postal Centers are open 24/7 so you can get your return postmarked on April 17 up until 11:59pm.
5. The limit for IRAs is $5,000 under age 50 and $6,000 over 50. In the long run, taking a deduction for a retirement contribution is the best way to decrease your taxes now and in the future.