Are you one of the many? You know who you are, the person that waits until the very last moment to file their tax return somehow hoping they will do away with the process before the April 15th deadline. Well once again this year, the Internal Revenue Service has decided to keep the process in tact for another year, so you have very little time to get your returns filled out and either mailed or electronically filed. For lots of people this can be a painstaking process but it can also mean a nice return once it has been submitted. With that in mind, let us discuss some last minute tips to be sure to check for, as you get ready to send your return off.
Before we start, just a note that if you have the means and do not want the headaches, seek out a professional to handle filing your taxes for you. In most cases these folks know about some deductions that you may have overlooked and loopholes that you might have fallen into had you filed your return on your own. If you decide to still be the brave on your own warrior, then let us trudge on. First thing, if you are able, by all means try to file your returns electronically. Doing this saves you a ton of headaches and also will get your refund checks (if you are due some) to you in a much quicker amount of time. Near three fourths of the country is doing this at present so they cannot all be wrong. Also, if you decide to have your refund send to a bank account electronically, you are most likely to have the refund there for use within ten days!
Another tip to remember and one that you would be surprised how many people mess this one up. Sign your return! You put so much into figuring this stuff out, get it all on paper, and then you forget to sign and date it. Bummer! It will cause unnecessary delays in processing your return. If you’re filing a return jointly with your spouse, both of you must sign and date the form. This is still the case even if your a one income family so don’t forget.
Social Security number. Double check to make sure you have it printed legibly and you have not switched a number around or mistyped it in. This goes for anyone on the return and is important for things such as Dependent care or Earned income tax credits. Without these numbers correct it will not only delay the processing of your refund, but can also reduce it in some cases.
Here is another tip and one that tons of people tend to mess up every year as well. If your part of that thirty percent or so who is still doing the old tried and true going to the post office and mailing it system here are some definite things to check before you drop it down the slot. Use the envelope the IRS mailed you with your form. If you did not get one, make sure to refer to the booklet under the section named “Where do you file” so that you can determine the correct address to send to. If you have not gone through this before, you can find a lot of different addresses listed online and in the book, but this section will spell it out clearly for you.
Along with using the proper envelope, make sure that you make out the check correctly and that is denotes all the proper information on it. You might think that the top of your check information with name and address is enough but you would be wrong and that can cause delays in your processing. Make sure the check is made out to United States Treasury, and make sure that you put the social security number of the person whose name is listed first on the form on the check. We are not done there though. Also needed are the type of form being filed, the tax year in question, and finally a phone number. Also do not staple the check to the tax form. Just enclose it with it. The other way does not make the IRS very happy.
Finally, if your feeling a bit overwhelmed by having waited for the last minute and you don’t think your going to get it done in time, file for an extension to file. This gives you a bit longer to get the form in, but do remember that the extension is not an extension of your time to pay your debt. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, take a last glance at the form and double check your arithmetic. You would hate to be one of those people that desperately needs their refund money, only to find out your ten day wait turns into months because you made a mistake in addition or subtraction.
There you have it folks. Some helpful tips to get you through what can sometimes be a stressful time, tax season. Follow these when filing your return and you should be fine and receiving that refund check in the quickest time possible!