With the April 15 deadline to file taxes quickly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service is offering some last-minute tax tips.
IRS Spokesman Mark Green said people need to remember that while the deadline is Monday, that still means time remains to get everything done.
“Don’t panic,” said Green. “You still have time. There are many options out there.”
Green said the IRS encourages people who have not done so to file electronically. According to Green, an electronic return is less prone to errors than a paper return. In addition, he says electronic returns also offer faster refunds and confirmation within 48 hours that the IRS has accepted the tax return.
But for those who still fill out a paper return, Green said it is important to make sure no errors are made.
“To cut down on errors, re-check your identification numbers, make sure all Social Security numbers are listed on there, make sure you double-check your math calculations,” said Green. “In addition, if there is a joint return and only one party works, we still need both signatures on that tax return.”
For those who will not have things ready to file by Monday, Green said that taxpayers do have the option of course of filing for an extension, which gives a person until October 15 to file their return.
However, Green cautioned that it is only an extension to file, not an extension to pay.
“What it does not do is give you additional time if you expect to owe, so if you do owe, or expect to owe, pay at least 90 percent of the tax you expect to owe,” said Green.
Meanwhile, Green said taxpayers who are having trouble paying their tax bill need to get in touch with the IRS.
He said that communicating with the agency can help taxpayers avoid problems down the road.
“That is probably one of the biggest pitfalls that taxpayers have incurred because when there is a tax liability, some taxpayers tend to push that to the side, thinking it will go away, and it does not,” said Green. “Communicate with us. Request an installment agreement. Give us a call to work out a payment arrangement.”
Green also reminded taxpayers that Monday is the deadline to file a 2009 tax return for those who did not in order to ensure they do not have any unclaimed refunds from that year.
For more information on tax-related issues, contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 or go online to www.irs.gov.