Here are some last-minute tips for accurate tax filing!
As April approaches, more people are scurrying to get their personal finance or small business tax documents together. The consequence of ignoring or putting off tax duties until after the dreaded April date can be expensive, so it behooves you to get moving if you have not started your return.
However, last-minute filing should not equate to sloppy filing, because mistakes on your return can be even more expensive than late filing penalties. Here are a few tax tips for completing an accurate return at the last minute.
Purchase Quality Software
There are numerous products on the market designed to help you prepare your tax returns efficiently and with minimal error. Some of the best software choices walk you through each form with simple, easy-to-follow question-and-answer sessions. Because the programs can integrate with your bank or personal finance records, you can also reduce the amount of time you spend entering data.
Take an Organizational Minute
One of the mistakes last-minute filers make is jumping into the return in order to get the job done. Halfway through the first form, they realize information is missing. Stopping and starting the return while you hunt down documents is inefficient and leads to errors. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin.
You can press the button on your electronic return any time until the last minute of the last filing day. If you cut it that close with a paper return, you run the risk of missing post office hours and failing to receive the all-important postmark date on your paperwork. While last-minute filing is not the best choice, if you are down to the wire, electronic filing can also help you submit a return free of major errors.
Make Use of Extensions
If you truly do not have the paperwork necessary to file your tax return in an accurate manner, you can file for an extension. It should be noted that an extension does not put off your tax liability; it only stops the clock on your form. If you think you will owe taxes, make an estimated payment for yourself or your small business. If you overpay, you will receive a refund when you do file your return. It is much better to overpay a bit in estimated taxes than to rack up fines and interest on unpaid liability.