April 12, 2011|By Claudia Buck, McClatchy Newspapers
Psst. Not that you allegation reminding, but the tax filing borderline is aloof canicule away.
Whether you’ve already filed and are appropriately apprehension a acquittance or if you’re aloof accepting started with the anniversary chore, actuality are some last-minute tax tips.
GOOD NEWS: EXTRA TIME: Thanks to a bounded anniversary in Washington, D.C., the accustomed April 15 tax filing borderline got confused by three days. This year only, accompaniment and federal taxes are due on Monday, April 18. Which agency you get an added weekend to get all that paperwork completed.
NEED HELP? Chargeless tax alertness advice is still accessible for low- and moderate-income individuals and the elderly.
Those with anniversary incomes beneath $49,000 can get chargeless advice at Volunteer Assets Tax Assistance sites, some of which are accessible through April 18.
Chargeless IRS tax advice is additionally accessible to seniors over 60 through the Tax Counseling for the Aged program.
To acquisition the aing armpit for either program, alarm the IRS advice band at 800-906-9887 or go to http://www.irs.gov. The advice band is answered by a alive IRS staffer, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
FASTER REFUNDS: The fastest acquittance avenue is to electronically book your tax acknowledgment and appeal that refunds be direct-deposited to your coffer account. Taxpayers who do so can apprehend their acquittance in seven to 10 days; those commitment a cardboard acknowledgment can apprehend a acquittance by mail in eight weeks.
To analysis the cachet of your IRS refund, alarm the acquittance hotline at 800-829-1954 or analysis online “Where’s My Refund?” at http://www.irs.gov.
There’s additionally a new smartphone application, IRS2Go, that lets you analysis your acquittance cachet and get IRS tax updates. The app is accessible for Android or Apple devices.
NEED AN EXTENSION? If you can’t accumulate your paperwork in time, get a tax-filing extension. But note: You still allegation pay what you owe by Monday, April 18, or face absorption fees and accessible penalties.
For IRS taxes, an addendum is not automated but requires filing a Anatomy 4868. The addendum anatomy is calmly filed online application the irs.gov “FreeFile” program.
Those alive across or confined in the aggressive alfresco the United States get an automated two-month addendum to book and pay their federal taxes.
HOW TO PAY: Never, anytime accelerate cash.
If you’re advantageous by check, accomplish it payable to: “U.S. Treasury.” On the front, accommodate the tax year, tax anatomy cardinal and the aboriginal Social Security cardinal apparent on your tax form.
Do not basic your analysis to the return.
If you’re advantageous by acclaim or debit card, the IRS offers several options through clandestine providers on its website. The IRS does not allegation a fee, but the providers do. Generally, the minimum “convenience fee” is about $3.95.
CAN’T PAY? Taxpayers who owe but don’t accept the funds to pay should acquaintance the IRS to appeal an “alternative payment” plan. It can be a ancient concise addendum or a best chapter plan. Generally, chapter affairs are offered if the tax debt is $25,000 or beneath and can be repaid aural bristles years. Penalties and absorption are charged.
DON’T MISS OUT: Low-income individuals and families are apprenticed to book for the Earned Assets Tax Credit. It’s a federal refund, up to a best of $5,666, depending on ancestors size.
The acquittance phases out at assorted assets levels; for affiliated couples filing jointly, with three or added kids, the best is almost $48,360.
Alike if you don’t owe taxes, you allegation to book a acknowledgment to affirmation an EITC refund.
To see if you qualify, bang on the “Web Connector EZ” apparatus on http://www.weconnect.net. You can additionally use the “EITC Assistant” on the IRS website or acquaintance a VITA armpit for chargeless help.
E-FILING OPTIONS: Added taxpayers than anytime — almost 70 percent — are electronically filing their taxes, according to the IRS. Go online to http://www.IRS.gov to analysis out assorted e-filing and Web-payment options. In some cases, there are assets limits.
For federal returns, the IRS offers “Free File” for incomes up to $58,000 or “Free Book Fillable Forms” for any income.
Some 2010 changes:
—Standard breadth ante for business cartage accept alone — to 50 cents a mile.
—Child acceptance costs (travel, cloister costs, attorneys’ fees, etc.) authorize for a bigger tax acclaim — up to $13,170 per child. Also, the acceptance acclaim is now refundable, acceptation you can aggregate it alike if you don’t owe taxes.
—Federal tax credits from the bread-and-er accretion affairs still abide or are broadcast this year, including: up to $2,500 for assertive college apprenticeship costs, such as tuition, books and fees; up to $1,500 for assertive energy-saving home improvements; $400 for singles and $800 for couples beneath the Making Work Pay tax credit; and up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers who entered a acquirement arrangement by April 30, 2010. For details, acquaintance the IRS or a bounded tax preparer.
A FINAL NOTE: Some are apprehensive how a accessible federal government abeyance over the accepted account blend would affect the IRS. Rest assured, you still accept to pay.
“In the accident there is a government shutdown, the tax filing borderline will still be April 18,” said IRS agent Jesse Weller. The IRS would not be able to action cardboard tax returns, but “those filed electronically will still be candy and money owed to the government will still be collected.”
Typically, the IRS says about 20 percent to 25 percent of taxpayers book their taxes in the aftermost two weeks afore the April deadline. If that’s you, we achievement it goes well. Happy figuring.
(c) 2011, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.).
on after permission of MCT.
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