We are not trying to stress you out, BUT you have less than one week to file your taxes. You have until April 18 to file your tax return. That’s one week away. These suggestions should help you reach the goal.
File an Extension
Yup, that is our first suggestion, unless you have all your information consolidated, just file an extension. You will automatically get six more months to complete your return. If you decide to go this route, remember that if you owe the IRS money, you still have to pay at least 90% of what you ow by April 18. This will allow you to dodge the Failure-To-Pay penalty.
The good news for our military? If you or a spouse are currently in an active combat zone, or you live overseas, you have to file by
Note that if you are in the military, have a spouse in an active combat zone, or live abroad there are are granted a deadline and payment extension. The IRS website states, “In general, the deadlines for performing certain actions applicable to his taxes are extended for the period of service in the combat zone, plus 180 days after last day in the combat zone. In addition to the 180 days, an extension period may include the 46 days that were left before the April 18th deadline when entered the combat zone. During a 226-day extension period, assessment and collection deadlines will be extended, and will not be charged interest or penalties attributable to the extension period.” You can read more here.
You can file your taxes yourself, but there goes your weekend!
You can, but keep in mind, it will be grueling. On average, according to the IRS, tax returns take an average of 13 hours to prepare and file. That’s almost 6.5 hour work days, four 3.25 hour days and if you start today, it will be almost 3 hours every night starting tonight!
First, find all the backup documentation for earnings (W2’s, 1099’s), proof of expenses, donations, 1095 form (health coverage), or whatever information you have to file, such as your 1098-T for student loan interest. Here is a full list of forms and publications that we have for your reference.
What? You don’t have your tax information?
You could look in every file you have or you can just call the place that issued the form. Some resources will have a website that you can download your forms too. If your employer or the person who hired you as a contractor emails the forms then you have the backup right online (provided you did not delete the link to access it). Also, Navient has a link you can download your student loan interest information from too (provided your loan is with the former Sallie Mae).
If you are not familiar with the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant you will be! It is a great tool. You can try and look up your tax questions there. Just plug in common keywords related to taxes and returns or scroll down the page and review the Topics by Category and select the link. You will be asked questions that should help you determine your specific tax need along with a solution.
We suggest next year, whenever something comes via email, print it right away and electronically file he document in an email folder. And, if you get something in the mail have one pocket folder that you can just file the information in and have ready for when you are about to file.
Before You Hit Submit to File Your Taxes
Double check all your information! Spelling of names, addresses, social security numbers, bank information, etc. It may be a good idea to have your spouse check the information while you quote it to avoid any typos or mistakes. You may know it by heart, but when you are looking at numbers and information for hours and then you are under pressure, mistakes can happen. Plus, do you really want to file an amended return?
If you do, you can file online using a software package; however you should note fees to file online can be anywhere from $0 to $25 depending if it is a state return or an IRS return.
Call WorthTax (or another trusted professional)
Why put yourself through all the stress, when WorthTax can help? We can file your extension or your return for you. Call l Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200 right away so that he can schedule an appointment and/or file an extension if necessary. You can also schedule an appointment at one of Worthtax’s locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham.
Sources and Resources:
2015 Tax Changes for Massachusetts
Tax Deadline is Rapidly Approaching
Massachusetts Tax Filing
April is a Very Busy Tax Month
Employer Relief: Affordable Care Act Reporting
Deadline Changes: Congress Did Something Right!
Statute of Limitations: How Long Am I On the Hook for a Tax Assessment?