Did you know that, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 20% of Americans wait until the last two weeks before the filing deadline to prepare their returns? If you find yourself in this situation, do not worry – there is still time! It is important, however, to file your tax return before the April 15th filing deadline to avoid incurring any penalties.

We want to share with you a few tax tips to make last minute filing as smooth as possible.

Tax tip 1: File online, if you can.

You can save time by filing your taxes online. There are various free or cost efficient online software programs, like TurboTax, that will guide you through the filing process. Once you gather all of your documents and create an online account, you can work through each question on your own time and even have your return reviewed by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) before you file. Once you hit submit, the online software electronically submits your return to the IRS that same day.

Tax tip 2: Triple-check your return information.

If you are filing your tax return in a hurry, you may make accidental mistakes that could cost you in the future. It is important that before you send your return to the IRS that you double and triple check that all of the information you provided is accurate. Even simple errors can cause your refund to be delayed. Some common errors to look out for are math and number errors, incorrect Social Security Numbers, and failure to sign and date your return.

Tax tip 3: Do not hesitate to ask for an extension if necessary.

If April 15th is looming closer and you are still not ready to file your tax return, you may consider requesting an extension from the IRS. If you request the extension before midnight on April 15th, the IRS is likely to grant the extension. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the extension is only to file your taxes. It is not an extension of time to pay any taxes you may owe the IRS. If your tax bill is higher than you are expecting, you may want to set up a monthly installment plan to pay off your balance.

To help avoid filing your tax return at the last minute next year, we encourage you to be prepared year round. We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you. Do not wait to contact our office with your questions! We are here to help you create and maintain the estate plan you need.