(Victor Valley) – Taxpayers had two extra days this year to file their income tax returns. Monday was Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia — that’s the day the slaves were freed in D.C. — so federal offices, including the IRS, were closed. And because April 15 fell on a Sunday, the government has to give taxpayers an extra day. So this year, Tax Day was pushed back to Tuesday, April 17th.
That’s today! If you haven’t done your taxes yet, don’t panic. There’s still time and it’s not as big a hassle as you might think.
The IRS has 10 tips to help last minute taxpayers:
1. File electronically
Most taxpayers file electronically. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time! The IRS has processed more than 1 billion individual tax returns safely and securely since the nationwide debut of electronic filing in 1990. In fact, 112 million people — 77 percent of all individual taxpayers — used IRS e-file last year.
2. Check the identification numbers
Carefully check identification numbers — usually Social Security numbers — for each person listed. This includes you, your spouse, dependents and persons listed in relation to claims for the Child and Dependent Care Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit. Missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
3. Double-check your figures
If you are filing a paper return, double-check that you have correctly figured the refund or balance due.
4. Check the tax tables
If you e-file, the software will do this for you. If you are using Free File Fillable Forms or a paper return, double-check that you used the right figure from the tax table for your filing status.
5. Sign your form
You must sign and date your return. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it and enter their Preparer Tax Identification Number.
6. Send your return to the right address
If you are mailing a return, find the correct mailing address at www.irs.gov. Click the Individuals tab and the “Where to File” link under IRS Resources on the left side.
7. Pay electronically
Electronic payment options are convenient, safe and secure methods for paying taxes. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, or use a credit or a debit card. For more information on electronic payment options, visit www.irs.gov.
8. Follow instructions when mailing a payment
People sending a payment should make the check payable to the “United States Treasury” and should enclose it with, but not attach it to, the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. The check should include the Social Security number of the person listed first on the return, daytime phone number, the tax year and the type of form filed.
9. File or request an extension to file on time
If you simply cannot meet the April 17 deadline, requesting a filing extension is easy and will prevent late filing penalties. Either use Free File or Form 4868. But keep in mind that while an extension grants additional time to file, tax payments are still due April 17.
10. Visit IRS.gov
Forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects are available at www.irs.gov.