Tax return filing time has almost run out, like the slow sands of an hour-glass. The emptier an hourglass gets, the faster it appears to run. And we know that if you have not yet filed, you might be starting a slight panic attack. In the days to come, the tax squad at Gavrilov & Co fears that some last minute tax filers will run into trouble as they race to complete their tax returns.
The Tax Return Race Approaches the Last Lap
It is indeed the home stretch of the race, the last lap, and in ways the most dangerous. For, as tax-payers accelerate their lives to complete their tax returns, we believe some tax-payers make serious mistakes and misjudgments.
“Mistakes can happen when hurrying to file a tax return by the due date. This can mean longer processing times and possible tax refund delays.”
Into the Danger Zone: The Yellow Flag on this Lap of the Race
If tax-filing time were, as our metaphor suggests, an automobile race, these next few days would be the “Days of Thunder” when we might see cars drive dangerously high on the wall and perhaps even crash and burn.
So in this scenario, as your pit crew, the IRS made recommendations to help you keep safe and drive away from this tax season like a winner. It’s our intent to reinforce these ideas for you today. We call them the Nine Tax Return Tips.
So, this blog article will keep it simple this week, with clever ways to remember our top tips for the late—or almost late—tax return.
First Tax Return Tip: Electronic Ignition!
If you have not yet filed, then the government advises you strongly to file electronically. Electronic filing offers you safer, more accurate tax return filing.
According to the government, 70 percent of the taxpaying public could file electronically and therefore “…avoid common mistakes; it is also the most accurate way to file a tax return.”
Electronic filing will bring you safety features unavailable in paper forms. It will do your calculations and prompt you concerning errors and omitted data.
Second Tax Return Tip: Don’t Cause a Paper Chase
If you must utilize paper at this late date, then the IRS cautions you to double check the address…
Third Tax Return Tip: In the heat of the race, a tax-filer could get bleary-eyed.
Take a close look at the tax tables. Like lanes of traffic, columns of figures could crisscross. So, watch for those filing status figures.
Get in the proper lane—or column.
Fourth Tax Return Tip: Fill ‘er up!
In just a few more days, only jet fuel could allow you to outrace your finish line if this were an auto race. But when accountants and tax professionals talk about filing, they are talking about filling in your information clearly and accurately.
Simple mistakes like forgetting to fill in the line with the appropriate Social Security number or check off one filing status can hurt your bottom line.
Fifth Tax Return Tip: Watch your numbers.
Whereas drivers must watch their gauges, fast tax filers must watch their arithmetic. Math errors can cause a delay in servicing your tax return.
Sixth Tax Return Tip: Get the Rout Right
Some grand auto races require a route, but last minute electronic filing requires a route number, and it must be recorded perfectly. Incorrect routing or account numbers can cause the IRS to delay the deposit or even put it into the wrong account.
Seventh Tax Return Tip: Signing On the Dotted Line
Well, we could not think of a racing comparison for this tip, number 7. In fact, it is most simply expressed in the words of the IRS:
A. For the Man and Wife: “If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return.”
B. For the Individual: “When filing an individual tax return electronically, taxpayers must electronically sign the tax return using a personal identification number (PIN): Either the Self-Select PIN or the Practitioner PIN method.”
Eighth Tax Return Tip: Likewise, a simple description is called for our tip number 8:
What if you changed your tax software between this year and last year? That will require that you enter that prior year adjusted gross income. Entering that number validates your Self-Select PIN. (And, here’s a hint: Always retain a copy of your prior tax return or you will have to take a detour to Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail, to find that precious AGI number.)
Ninth Tax Return Tip: Stay Alert and Attach all Forms
It’s obvious in all official information, but we repeat that you should attach your W-2s on the front of the returns.
Likewise, you should attach Form 9465, which is your Installment Agreement Request. These attachments have an order. So watch your instructions.
Here Comes the Checkered Flag: the Final Treacherous Turn of your Tax Time Race
The time for the checkered flag that ends your race to file on time is almost here. Luckily, April 17 will give you two extra days this year. However, what if you run into road hazards or engine trouble?
The answer is simple: If you cannot file by the deadline, we urge you to file an extension. Request a filing extension.
Remember, doing this will save you money because you won’t have to pay late-filing penalties.
The appropriate form is Form 4868, and it is known as the Application for Extension of Time to File to file U.S. personal income taxes. Contrary to what you might believe, the government prefers you to file an extension if you know you’re going to file later. It demonstrates you have good intentions.
The tax experts at Gavrilov & Co would be proud to show you how easily you can accomplish this and maintain a good fiscal reputation.
Don’t race your engine and don’t stress out. When you’ve got Gavrilov & Company on your side, you’re in the winner’s circle. You won’t need special tires and we promise you won’t crash into the “pace-car,” like Tom Cruise in Wheels of Thunder, the racing movie.