Last Minute Tax Tips - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Last Minute Tax Tips

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(WLNS) - If you've waited until the last day to start your taxes we've put together some helpful tips for you.

Be organized. Having everything in one place — even if it's just a shoebox — will help make preparation of your income tax return easier. Some of the documents that might be required to complete the process include your Form W-2 (your employer must mail the form, which shows your earnings and taxes withheld, by Jan. 31); Form 1099-INT, for interest earned on a bank account, Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, which shows mortgage interest paid on a loan for your own home; and receipts for all purchases and payments, including those for business, healthcare and education. You will also need your Social Security number and, if you are filing jointly, you will need the Social Security number of your co-filer. Social Security numbers are also required for all listed dependents for whom you are claiming a dependency exemption. It also helps to have a checklist of deductions that you might forget in your rush to file your return.

File Online. Once you're ready, experts recommend filing your taxes electronically. Doing so can mean a more accurate tax return, a faster refund and — if every minute counts — the luxury of last-minute filing.

Avoid little mistakes. The biggest problems with tax returns are often the easiest to prevent because they usually occur through carelessness or hurry. Even the simplest mistakes, however, can delay a refund.The three most common mistakes made by flustered filers are math errors (easily prevented with a calculator or tax software), incorrectly written Social Security numbers (be sure to proofread) and failure to sign or date the tax return.

Extending the inevitable. To request an extension for filing your return, use Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, which is available for download at Extensions are generally granted automatically and you do not have to explain in your initial request why you are seeking one. The only requirement is that the extension request must be filed no later than midnight on April 15. If you're worried that you can't pay what you owe, the IRS recommends filing your taxes or extension request and then calling to discuss setting up a payment plan. The IRS also offers a payment agreement application on its website.

Depending upon your income you might qualify for no cost help from the State of Michigan. Click here for more information.


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