The tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 17 this year. This is because April 15 falls on a weekend and the following Monday is a holiday in the District of Columbia. Even with an extra two days, the IRS urges taxpayers to avoid waiting until the last minute to file their taxes.
For those who have yet to file, the IRS has five quick ideas to help:
1. Gather Records. Good recordkeeping is important. It helps to ensure that nothing gets overlooked. Records such as receipts and cancelled checks also provide expense documentation.
2. Use IRS Online Tools. The IRS has many useful online tools, including the Interactive Tax Assistant, which provides answers to many tax questions. It gives the same answers that an IRS representative would give over the phone.
3. File Electronically. Most taxpayers file electronically these days. It offers ease and convenience. The tax software guides people through the entire process. There are no forms to fill out. Electronic filing is also a more accurate way to file as the software does all the math for the user.
4. Use IRS Free File. Free File is available only on IRS.gov. Taxpayers earning $66,000 or less last year can use free name-brand tax software to file a federal tax return. Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms, is available for those who earned more than $66,000. People can use Free File to get an automatic six-month extension to file. An extension to file a tax return, however, is not an extension to pay any taxes owed. April 17 is still the deadline for any taxes owed.
Taxpayers can now use their cell phone or tablet to prepare and e-file a federal tax return through IRS Free File. They can access Free File two ways. They can use the IRS app, IRS2Go, which has a link to the Free File Software Lookup Tool. They can go right to IRS.gov/freefile and select the Free File Software Lookup Tool or Start Free File Now to find the software product they want to use. The IRS2Go app is available for Android and iOS devices.
5. Report All Income. Taxpayers must report all their income from Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Forms 1099. Other income may be reportable as well, even if the taxpayer does not receive a statement.
Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.
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