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IRS Last-Minute Tax Tips to Consider

posted Apr 16, 2017, 10:00 AM by Zaher Fallahi

Last-Minute Tax Tips to Consider

 

The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid waiting until April 18 to file their taxes. For those who do wait, the IRS has easy-to-access online resources to help. Following are eight tips from the IRS can help make filing less taxing:

 

1- Review your tax returns carefully

Taxpayers who rush to beat the tax filing deadline may miss a tax benefit or, worse, make mistakes. Errors delay tax refunds and could cause the IRS to send you a letter.

 

2- Validate e-signature

If a taxpayer changed tax software for 2017, they may need their prior-year adjusted gross income (AGI) to validate their electronic signature. To learn about how to verify their identity and electronically sign a tax return at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. Always keep a copy of tax returns.

 

3- Visit IRS.gov

Go online for tax related resources. The Interactive Tax AssistantTax TrailsFrequently Asked QuestionsTax Topics, and IRS Tax Maps are useful resources.

 

4- Use IRS Free File

Taxpayers who made $64,000 or less they can use free tax software to prepare their federal tax return. Free File Fillable Forms is available for those who made more than that. These are electronic versions of IRS paper forms.

 

5- File electronically

Kick the paper habit and e-file. IRS e-file is safer, easy and more accurate. Taxpayers are 20 times less likely to make a mistake with an e-filed return compared to filing a paper return. Tax software catches and corrects common paper filing mistakes. It also warns you to overlooked tax credits and deductions.

 

6- File on time

Taxpayers who owe taxes but can’t pay in full by the April 18 due date, should still file on time and pay as much as possible. This will reduce potential IRS penalties and interest charges. For unpaid taxes, people may apply for an installment agreement to pay over time. The easiest way to apply is to use the Online Payment Agreement application on IRS.gov. To apply by mail, use IRS Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.

 

7- Request an extension of time to file

Taxpayers can request a six-month extension electronically through tax software, including FreeFile, by using  Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Taxpayers may also make an electronic payment and designate it as a “Form 4868” payment. A reminder: An extension of time to file a tax return is not an extension of time to pay taxes. Be sure to e-file or mail the form and pay an estimate of any tax due by the April 18 due date to avoid penalty and interest charges. The IRS has the flexibility to work with those who cannot pay all taxes owed.

 

8- Visit a Local IRS Office

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now operate by appointment only. Taxpayers can find most answers online at IRS.gov, but if they need in-person assistance, they will need to make an appointment.

 

Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return and the supporting documents. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Learn more about how to verify your identity and electronically sign your tax return at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

 

Zaher Fallahi, CPA, Tax attorney, advises taxpayers including Americans-living abroad, with their taxes, IRS representation, foreign accounts (FBAR, FATCA, OVDP, foreign trusts). Telephones (310) 719-1040 (Los Angeles), (714) 546-4272 (Orange County), or e-mail totaxattorney@zfcpa.com

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