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October 15 Tax Extension Deadline: 5 Helpful Tips

The October 15 tax extension deadline is just around the corner. You have less than two weeks to file your income taxes, which means you can no longer put off this dreaded task. It’s time to buckle down and get to work. Not sure where to start? Check out these 5 tips for submitting your tax return before the deadline expires.

Gather Documentation

With six extra months to prepare, you should hopefully have all your documentation together by now. If that’s not the case, don’t wait any longer. Be sure you have all the necessary forms and receipts before you start working on your return. Not sure what you should have on hand? Download our Individual Tax Prep Checklist or Small Business Tax Checklist below.

Individual-Tax-Prep-Checklist pdf download Small-Business-Tax-Checklist pdf download

Avoid Common Filing Mistakes

To avoid potential issues with the IRS, it’s important to take your time and double-check your work. Be sure to keep an eye out for these common filing mistakes:

  • Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers
  • Incorrect filing status
  • Grammatical errors (misspelled names)
  • Wrong bank account numbers
  • Omitted income from gig jobs (1099s)
  • Deduction and/or credit mistakes
  • Mathematical errors

Errors on your tax return may delay your refund, and in some cases, it could lead to a tax audit. Take your time and make sure everything’s correct.

Verify Your Tax Extension Deadline

The general tax extension deadline is October 15, 2020. This may or may not, however, be your tax extension deadline. The U.S. has dealt with many natural disasters this year. Taxpayers and businesses located in federally declared disaster areas will receive additional time to complete their returns. This includes victims of the August 14 California wildfires (extended to December 15. 2020), Oregon wildfires (extended to January 15, 2021), and Hurricane Sally (Extended to January 15, 2021). To see the full list of extended deadlines for disaster victims, please visit IRS.gov. Once you verify that October 15 is your extension deadline, don’t procrastinate. Submit your tax return before time expires or you will face additional tax penalties.

Pay Your Taxes Online ASAP

After completing your tax return, you should submit payment for any taxes due as soon as possible. Filing electronically will get the money to the IRS quickly and help reduce the amount you will owe for accrued interest and late payment penalties. If you overpaid when you sent in your estimated taxes earlier this year, don’t worry, the IRS will issue a refund. This typically takes three weeks to process.

Get Expert Tax Help

Completing your tax return this year may be a bit more complicated than in years past, especially if you are a small business owner. There are many retroactive tax laws that could help lessen your tax liability, as well as pandemic tax relief. To ensure you take advantage of every deduction and credit possible, we highly recommend consulting with a tax professional. At Tax Defense Network, we’ll work to get you the best results and make sure your return is accurate and filed on time. If you owe taxes and can’t pay, we can help you get into an affordable payment plan or even negotiate with the IRS to lower your tax debt. Schedule your free consultation today to ensure you meet the October 15 tax extension deadline!