The tax filing season is just around the corner. The IRS offers tips for taxpayers still working on their returns.
File electronically. IRS e-file is safe, easy and the most common way to file. E-file is now the norm; not the exception. In 2011, nearly 110 million people used e-file to transmit their returns. If you expect a tax refund, you’ll get the money faster when you e-file, because the IRS processes electronic returns faster than paper ones.
Check all numbers. Carefully check Social Security numbers for each person listed. This includes you, your spouse, dependents and persons listed in relation to claims for Child and Dependent Care or Earned Income Tax Credit. Missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
Double-Check Your Figures. If you are filing a paper return, you should double-check that you have correctly figured the refund or balance due.
Check the Tax Tables. If you are filing a paper return, double-check that you have used the right figure from the tax table.
Contribute to Retirement Accounts: If you haven’t made an IRA (deductible or non-deductible) or Roth IRA contribution for 2012, you have until April 15.
Sign Your Form. You must sign and date your return. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.
Electronic Payments. Electronic payment options are convenient, safe and secure methods for paying taxes. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, or use a credit or a debit card.
Can’t Pay the Taxes Due. If you owe taxes but can’t pay the full amount by the deadline, file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can to avoid tax penalties and interest.
Extension to File. By the April due date, you should either file a return or request an extension of time to file, Form 4868. Remember, the extension of time is not an extension of time to pay.
Barry Lisak, EA, is an IRS Enrolled Agent who has operated a tax preparation office for over 30 years. Any questions or comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-829-7283.