The tax filing deadline is just around the corner. Here are 10 tips to help taxpayers still working on their tax returns:
1. File electronically. Most taxpayers file electronically. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time! The IRS has processed more than 1 billion individual tax returns safely and securely since the nationwide debut of electronic filing in 1990. In fact, 112 million people — 77 percent of all individual taxpayers — used IRS e-file last year.
2. Check the identification numbers. Carefully check identification numbers — usually Social Security numbers — for each person listed. This includes you, your spouse, dependents and persons listed in relation to claims for the Child and Dependent Care Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit. Missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
3. Double-check your figures. If you are filing a paper return, double-check that you have correctly figured the refund or balance due.
4. Check the tax tables. If you e-file, the software will do this for you. If you are using a paper return, double-check that you used the right figure from the tax table for your filing status.
5. 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 and enter their Preparer Tax Identification Number.
6. Send your return to the right address. If you are mailing a return, find the correct mailing address at www.irs.gov. Click the Individuals tab and the “Where to File” link under IRS Resources on the left side.
7. Pay electronically. 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. For more information on electronic payment options, visit www.irs.gov.
8. Follow instructions when mailing a payment. People sending a payment should make the check payable to the “United States Treasury” and should enclose it with, but not attach it to, the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. The check should include the Social Security number of the person listed first on the return, daytime phone number, the tax year and the type of form filed.
9. File or request an extension to file on time. By the April 17 due date, you should either file a return or request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
10. Visit IRS.gov. Forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects are available at www.irs.gov.