NASHVILLE –– With the April 15 tax filing deadline right around the corner, the Internal Revenue Service offers Tennesseans who have not yet filed a few last-minute tips.
"My best advice is to simplify filing your taxes with IRS E-file, available free for most people at IRS.gov," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone.
1. Don’t Miss the Deadline - If you have a balance due and don’t file a tax return or an extension request by April 15, you face interest on the unpaid taxes as well as a late-filing penalty. Interest and penalties are added to your balance due. An extension pushes your filing deadline back to Oct. 15. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
2. Use IRS E-file to Avoid Errors, Get Recovery Tax Benefits - Last year nearly 70 percent of Tennessee filers enjoyed the benefits of IRS E-file: faster refund, easy to use, most errors eliminated, and confirmation of filing. Many used tax software online at no cost through the Free File program at IRS.gov. Let e-file help you avoid last-minute errors and make sure you don't miss out on tax benefits, including those in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: The Homebuyer Credit, Making Work Pay Credit, American Opportunity Credit, Home Energy Credit, and New Vehicle Deduction.
3. Check Paper Returns for Errors - Tax software finds common errors on electronically prepared returns. However, if you file on paper, you can avoid delays in processing and follow-up questions from the IRS by: (1) Double-checking all figures and math, (2) Ensuring Social Security numbers are correct, (3) Signing forms where required, (4) Attaching required schedules and forms, and (5) Mailing returns or request extensions by the April 15 filing deadline
4. Pay Electronically - Electronic payment options are safe and secure methods for paying taxes or user fees. You can pay online, by phone using a credit or debit card, or through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. Be aware that extra fees may apply to tax payments made by credit card.
5. Apply for an Installment Agreement - If you can’t pay your entire balance due, an installment agreement will allow you to pay any remaining balance in monthly installments. If you owe $25,000 or less, you may apply for a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement application or just attach Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, to the front of your return. The IRS charges $105 for setting up the agreement, or $52 if the payments are deducted directly from your bank account.
For more information about filing and paying your taxes, visit 1040 Central on IRS.gov. Important information is also available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. Forms and publications are available for download from IRS.gov or can be ordered by calling toll free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).