April Fools Days means that there are two weeks and counting until your 2014 income tax returns are due. So, here are a few tips and reminders to make everyone’s tax life easier the next two weeks …and beyond.
- If your return isn’t done yet, set an appointment with your tax pro or map out a work time at home even if you aren’t ready yet. Having a deadline might make it easier to get your paperwork together.
- Now is the time to check and make sure you have all the documents you need even if you plan to wait until April 14th to start the return. If you are missing something you still have a little time to get a replacement.
- Missing something? See if you can get a replacement or the numbers you need online. W-2s, mortgage interest, student fees and tuition paid and student loan interest are just a few of tax documents you might find online. That’s a lot faster than getting a hard copy mailed to you.
- You still have to time to make a contribution to your IRA and take the deduction on your 2014 tax return and reduce your taxes. However, make sure your IRA trustee understands that it is for 2014 and not 2015.
- An extension gives you more time more time to file a complete return. It does not delay payment.
- Don’t assume that your tax pro will be available on your preferred day and time. You aren’t the only procrastinator so be flexible.
- If your tax pro calls you for more information, get them the information ASAP. They don’t have the time to chase you down for the info they need to finish your return.
- Speaking of chasing you down, call your tax pro if you want them to file an extension for you. Just because you do this every year doesn’t mean they will automatically file without your go ahead.
- Don’t forget that 1st quarter estimated tax payments are also due on April 15th.
- If you are waiting to the absolute last minute, check with your post office to see when the last time you can mail your return or payment and still have an April 15th postmark.
- Do you need a reason why not to wait to the last minute? How about a computer crash, someone (you, your tax pro, or a child) gets sick or the power goes out in a thunderstorm and your return doesn’t get filed on time.
- If you have a balance due, send in what money you can by April 15th. Don’t worry they will bill you for the rest of it.
- File your return even if you can’t pay anything. The failure to file penalty is worse than the failure to pay penalty. Look into the IRS’s Installment Agreement.
- Waiting for your refund? Use the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund” or your state’s online app to check.
- Get a notice from the IRS for your state agency? Don’t panic but don’t ignore it. If you need help, ask a tax pro or look on IRS.gov for the nearest low income tax clinic.
- Now is a good time to look at 2015 and make changes to your withholding because of life changes or you didn’t like the results of your 2014 taxes. It gives you time to make adjustments and check the new results. If you use a tax pro, please wait until after April15th.
Bottom line...stop procrastinating and get your taxes done.