Filing Your Taxes at the Last Minute? Here Are Five Things You Need to Know
Remember the kids who always sat in the front of the classroom, the ones who reminded the teacher when she forgot to hand out homework? Those kids grew up into adults who get their oil changed every 3,000 miles, visit the dentist every six months like clockwork and file their taxes as soon as they can.
Then there were the back of the class kids. They're now the reasons dentists send those "we've missed you" cards and cars have low oil lights. If you're a "back of the classroom" kid, don't worry -- there's still time to get those taxes filed. Here are a few handy tips for the procrastinators of the world.
you get an extension
If just looking at a calendar and seeing that April 15 date looming stresses you out, you're in luck this year. Since that falls on a Sunday, the deadline would usually be pushed to Monday the 16th. However, that day is Emancipation Day and all Washington, DC offices are shut down in observation of the holiday. That means the deadline for filing taxes this year is April 17, giving you a full two extra days to get your taxes filed!
go high tech
More and more taxpayers are taking advantage of e-filing. Last year, almost 100 million people opted to file online. Using your computer can help reduce errors and most people are able to complete the forms much faster than using pencil and paper. Or, better still, get yourself one of those handy smartphone apps, like the TurboTax SnapTax.
be on time
If you file late and owe money, the IRS can assess a penalty and you could owe more. If, however, you are expecting a refund, there is no penalty for filing late. You do risk losing out on the money owed to you, but most taxpayers are granted a three-year window to file and claim a refund.
think about direct deposit
The later you file, the later you'll receive your refund. And while procrastinating the work may seem appealing, no one wants to wait to get money back. One way to speed up the process is to opt for direct deposit. If you file online and also choose a direct deposit, you may be able to start spending your money in as little as 10 days.
if you must put it off, here's the best way
Sometimes there's no way around it because life just gets in the way. If you cannot file your taxes by the deadline, you don't have to run away to a remote island and spend the rest of your days hiding in fear. If you file an application for extension, you can give yourself another six months to get those tax forms in.