Top 10 Tax Tips for Last-Minute Filers
Updated: Apr 8
Filing your tax returns ahead of time is a financial hygiene every citizen should follow to stay out of any unnecessary hassle.
However, as the tax filing deadline approaches on April 15th, many taxpayers find themselves scrambling to gather documents and prepare their returns. A study by IRS found that over 20% of Americans don’t file their returns until the last 2 weeks before the deadline. Not only do they miss out on the benefits of tax credits, but this creates chaos in their financial life.
But don't fret! In this blog, we have compiled 10 tax tips for last-minute filers to help make the entire process less stressful and more manageable. From tax deductions to consulting with a tax professional, these tips will ensure you are on the right track to complete filing your taxes on time.
Tax Tips for Last-Minute Filers
1. Gather Your Documents
The first step to filing your taxes is to gather all necessary documents. This includes W-2 forms from all employers, 1099 forms for freelance or contract work, and any other documents relevant to your income or deductions. It's also essential to have your Social Security number or Tax ID number on hand.
2. Take Advantage of Tax Deductions
Tax deductions can help reduce your taxable income, ultimately lowering your tax bill. Be sure to consult with a tax professional or use tax software to ensure you’re taking advantage of all available deductions. And if you’re looking to learn more about taxes and get exclusive tips for tax planning, check out our Tax Guide for Medical Professionals
3. Don't Overlook Tax Credits
Tax credits hold greater significance compared to deductions as they directly decrease your tax payment. Among the popular tax credits are the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. Again, be sure to consult with a tax professional or use tax software to ensure you’re claiming all eligible credits.
4. File Electronically
Filing your tax return electronically is faster, more secure, and less error-prone than filing a paper return. In addition, the IRS usually processes electronic returns more quickly than paper returns. There are many tax preparation software options available, some of which are free or low-cost.
5. Double-Check Your Return
Before you submit your return, double-check all information you’ve entered. Ensure that all numbers are accurate and that you haven’t missed any important information. Simple errors like transposing numbers or misspelling your name can delay your refund or cause other problems.
6. Pay Any Taxes Owed
If you owe taxes, be sure to pay them by the tax filing deadline to avoid penalties and interest. The IRS offers several payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and electronic transfers. If you can’t pay the full amount owed, you may be able to set up a payment plan with the IRS.
7. Request an Extension If Needed
If you’re unable to complete your tax return by the filing deadline, you can request an extension to give you more time. It is crucial to understand that an extension provides additional time for filing your tax return but does not grant additional time for settling any outstanding tax payments.
So be sure to submit your extension request by the tax filing deadline to avoid penalties.
8. Avoid Panic If You Make a Mistake
You needn’t panic if there’s a mistake in your tax return. The IRS allows taxpayers to amend their returns if necessary. Be sure to correct any errors as soon as possible to avoid penalties or interest.
9. Keep Copies of Your Tax Return
It’s a good idea to keep copies of your tax return and all supporting documents for at least three years. This can be helpful in case you need to refer to your return in the future, or if you’re audited by the IRS.
10. Consult with a Tax Professional If Necessary
If you’re unsure about any aspect of your tax return, or if you have a particularly complex tax situation, it’s a good idea to consult with medical tax accountants. A tax professional can provide valuable guidance and help ensure that you’re taking advantage of all the deductions and credits available to you.
Filing your taxes need not be a stressful or difficult process. By following these top 10 last-minute tax tips for last-minute filers, you can navigate the process with ease and confidence.
At PRIME Financial Services, our team of certified tax professionals offers medical professionals tax tips and tricks to help navigate the tax maze.