Teaching Your Child about Investing? Find out How the IRS Will Treat Your Child’s Investment Income
Go Home and Go Green: Ways to Reduce Your Taxes While Saving the Environment

The Return of the Late Filer: Tips for Getting the Return in by April 15th and Error Free


Ok.  I can’t believe I did it again!  I admit it.  I am one of those people.  You know, the people the IRS call the “late filers”.  I know.  I know.  I know.  I try to do better every year, but time just creeps up on me.  Wasn't it just April 1st a few days ago?  15 days does not seem last minute to me, does it?  Well, that 15-day cushion just turned into, hmmm, 5 days.  Where has the time gone? 

I don't feel so bad, though, because I hear that a few million other taxpayers are in the same boat as I am.  Whew!  There's no time to panic.  We simply need to come up with a plan and some guidelines of what to pay attention to in order to make sure we both maximize our benefits and avoid senseless errors.  Here are a few pointers to get you started.


1.  File Electronically:  Most tax returns are now filed electronically.  You can either do this yourself at home using purchased tax software, through a tax professional or through Free File. 

2.  Check for Errors:  Tax software finds common errors on electronically prepared returns.  However, if you file on paper, you can avoid delays in processing and follow-up questions by the IRS by double checking all your figures, ensuring your Social Security numbers are correct and signing forms where required. 

3.  Look for Updates:  A lot has changed in the tax code since last year.  There may be new tax credits that you may be able to claim and increase your return or reduce the amount that would otherwise be owed to the IRS.  Things to look for this year are: (i) First-Time Homebuyer Credit; (ii) energy efficiency tax credits such as the Residential Energy Property Credit and the Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit; and (iii) the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

4.  Ask for Help:  If filing on your own, don’t hesitate to contact the IRS for additional assistance if you are unsure about something.  For online information about filing your taxes, you can visit the Central link on IRS.gov.  You can also obtain important information in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.  You can also order forms by phone at (800) 829-3676. 

Now get filing!  We only have a few more days to get this done.  Clock is ticking.... no pressure.

by Marsha Henry

Copyright (c) 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.