The deadline to file your taxes is just a week away and if you haven’t yet filed your tax return yet, quickly review these tips. They will help you to file an error-free tax return before the deadline.
1. Use Electronic Filing
If you are filing at the last minute, it is best to use the IRS’ electronic filing service at IRS.gov. IRS Free File allows eligible taxpayers to use name brand software to prepare your taxes for free. Free File should generally only be used for the preparation of simple tax returns.
2. Include your Social Security Number
The last minute rush often leads to mistakes such as forgetting to include your Social Security Number or forgetting to sign the tax return. Miscalculations are also a common mistake, so before you file, make sure that you check all the calculations and maybe ask a trustworthy person to check if you have correctly filled in all the basic information on the return.
3. File for Extension
If you think you may not be able to prepare your return in time, apply for an extension. Filing an erroneous tax return can lead you into tax debt, an audit or refund complications. It is better to seek an extension and file the return properly.
4. Try Free Help
If you are having trouble completing your tax return and cannot hire a tax preparer, visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site in your neighborhood. Note that typically only those who do not have the financial ability to hire a professional tax preparer are eligible for free tax help at these sites. Make sure you file for an extension if you are unable to prepare your return on time even after seeking help.
5. Hire a Tax Preparer
Hire a tax preparer as soon as possible to prepare and file your return. A professional tax preparer will be quicker in preparing your return and in ensuring that it is error-free. Even when you are in a rush, make sure that you review the information on the return and sign it after it is finalized by your preparer.