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Last Minute Tax Filing: Get the Most Out of Your Return

A Smartphone with a Calculator App over a Tax Document - last minute tax filing

Last minute tax filing can be nerve-wracking for some people. But as long as you file before the deadline (or extension date), there’s nothing wrong with waiting. However, an impending deadline can put a lot of pressure on people to get everything in order.

If you’re someone who has been waiting to file their taxes, take a deep breath and check out our list of tips for last minute tax preparation.

5 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filing

1. Know Your Dates

A Calculator and a Magnifying Glass beside Documents - last minute tax filing

Even if you’re pushing it to the last minute, it’s crucial that you file before the tax filing deadline. For 2023, this deadline is Tuesday, April 18. If you don’t file before this date, you may be charged a failure-to-file penalty. The IRS will charge you 5% of what you owe for every month you don’t pay (up to 25%).

If you file on time but cannot pay your taxes, the penalty is a bit less. You will be charged only .5% of your unpaid taxes, up to a maximum of 25%. Missing both the filing and payment deadlines can really add up. To save you money and stress and keep yourself out of a sticky tax situation, make sure you submit your return and settle up any payments on time!

2. File Electronically

Did you know that over 70% of Americans qualify for free online tax filing? Tools like H&R Block make it easy for you to fill out your information and file with the IRS this tax season.

H&R Block has products geared toward a wide variety of people. If you have unique circumstances, like rental income, investments, child expenses, or self-employment income, H&R Block can help too. They have different tax prep software depending on what you need to include in your return. While these programs aren’t free, you’ll know the price beforehand, so there’s no sticker shock when it’s time to pay.

Even better, H&R Block is offering 15% off their DIY tax filing products until April 18th. That means you’ll be able to file your tax return with a product that walks you through the process of filing your federal and state tax. If you have questions, you’ll be able to talk to a tax professional and get the issues resolved.

This will help you avoid paying penalties and interest fees. It may even increase your tax refund.

3. Add All Deductions

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a taxpayer is overlooking the number of deductions you can claim. This will help to reduce your overall payment. We recommend putting any extra money in your savings account!

There are many types of deductions you can add to your tax return. For instance, you can claim electric car purchases, charitable donations, property taxes, and medical expenses in addition to the standard deduction.

4. Double Check for Mistakes

If you’re getting close to the deadline, it can be easy to make mistakes on your tax forms. But doing so can have huge consequences. It can delay processing and increase your chances of being audited.

Doing your taxes by hand can open up the door to a lot of mistakes. Instead, we recommend using tax prep software like H&R Block. While they do double-check for common mistakes, you’ll also need to give your return a good second look for yourself. As a rule of thumb, you should review the following:

  • Name spelling
  • Social security number
  • Employer EIN number
  • Bank information
  • Income information

5. When in Doubt, Ask for an Extension

With the tax deadline quickly approaching, you may realize that you still might need more time to file your taxes. Thankfully the IRS is fully aware that some people have special circumstances that prohibit them from filing on time.

So, if you need extra time to file, you can always apply for a tax extension with the IRS. This will give you until October 15 to finish your last minute tax preparation. Having that extra six can give you the time you need to make sure everything is entered correctly.

Get Your Taxes Done

Tax Documents on the Table - last minute tax filing

Your last minute tax filing doesn’t have to cause you drama and stress! And although the deadline is coming up, you can always file for an extension.

You may also want to check out our general tax filing tips to help you prepare. You never know if you’ll end up getting money back from the government! And if you do, we have some ideas of how you should best use that money. Remember, H&R Block is offering 15% off their DIY tax filing products, so take advantage before tax season ends!

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