As the April 18th tax filing deadline approaches, many Americans find themselves scrambling to get their taxes done at the last minute. While waiting until the final moment is never recommended, there are ways to speed up the process and get taxes filed on time without compromising accuracy. Optima Tax Relief provides some tips to help get taxes done quickly and efficiently and what to do if the deadline is missed.
Gather all tax documents: The first step in filing a tax return is gathering all the necessary tax documents, including W-2s, 1099s, and any other forms or receipts related to income or expenses. Taxpayers should make sure they have all their paperwork organized and readily available before they begin. Doing so can ensure that all necessary information is found easily during the tax preparation process.
Use tax software: Tax software can be a lifesaver for those who need to file their taxes quickly. Many tax software programs, such as TurboTax and H&R Block, offer step-by-step guidance and can help maximize deductions and credits. Additionally, they can help file electronically, which is faster than sending in a paper return. Tax software often costs money, but there are other methods of filing a tax return for free. For example, the IRS offers its own tax preparation and filing software, IRS Free File, at no charge to taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $73,000 or less. Taxpayers should note that some state return preparation and filing require an additional cost.
Don’t rush: While a taxpayer may feel the need to rush through their taxes to meet the deadline, taking time to ensure accuracy can help prevent mistakes that could lead to an audit. After the return is prepared, taxpayers should make sure they carefully review all the information entered into the tax software or onto their paper return.
Consider hiring a professional: For more complicated tax situations, taxpayers may want to consider hiring a professional tax preparer. This might be the case if they own a small business or several properties. An accountant or tax preparer can help navigate the tax code and ensure that the taxpayer is taking advantage of all available deductions and credits.
File for an extension: If more time is needed to file a return, filing for an extension can give a taxpayer an additional six months to file. However, it’s important to note that an extension to file does not mean an extension to pay. They will still need to estimate and pay any taxes owed by the original April 18th deadline.
While filing taxes at the last minute is not ideal, it is possible to get them done quickly and accurately. By gathering tax documents early, using tax software, considering professional help, or filing for an extension, a taxpayer can ensure that they meet the deadline without sacrificing accuracy or incurring penalties.