Ready or not, the tax day deadline is approaching. The cutoff this year is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17th.
If you’ve procrastinated on filing your taxes, you’re not alone. According to the Internal Revenue Service, almost a quarter of Americans wait until the last two weeks to send in their tax forms.
William Duncan, C.P.A and partner in Thorn Lewis + Duncan, Inc., said Monday accountants at the firm worked over the weekend to organize and complete client tax filings.
“We don’t call it busy season any more, we call it ‘harvest time,'” Duncan joked.
ASKING FOR AN EXTENSION
The firm sees its share of last-minute filers, but Duncan cautioned about asking the IRS for extra time.
“It’s an extension of time to file, but it’s not an extension of time to pay,” he explained. “We need to know whether you owe any money before we can prepare a proper extension.”
ORGANIZE THE PROPER FORMS
When preparing your taxes on your own or using a professional service, Duncan said it’s imperative to stay organized. Make sure you have the necessary documents, including W2s, 1099s, investment information and any receipts for deductible expenses or charitable donations.
DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR WORK
Duncan also said rushing to meet the tax deadline can lead to mistakes. He said common errors include incorrect dependent information, forgetting to report investment gains or simple calculation errors and typos. Some accountants recommend referencing an old tax form to make sure you fill in the correct information.
PLAN FOR THE POST OFFICE RUSH
Most USPS offices are operating on normal business hours on Tax Day. To meet the postmark deadline, you’ll need to mail your forms with the correct address and postage before the last mail collection time on April 17th. Visit http://www.usps.com or call 800-ASK-USPS for information on local Post Office retail hours and collection box locations, hours and pick-up times.
For more information from the IRS, you can visit the official website here.