Last minute tax tips

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The deadline to file your 2016 taxes is fast approaching.

This year, Americans must submit and pay their taxes by midnight on Tuesday, April 18th. Experts say roughly one-third of people wait until April before they file.

“Those reasons are as varied as the number of people that are waiting this long. Some folks do it every year just out of habit,” explained Kevin Sethman, Client Service Leader at H&R Block.

FOX59 went straight to the experts at H&R Block to go over some last minute tips to avoid paying any penalties.

Sethman recommends getting together all the documents and envelopes that say “Important Tax Information Inside” together before starting the process. That includes W-2s, 1099s, expense records, tuition information, mortgages statements, real estate receipts, charitable contributions and medical expenses.

“Lots of things affect returns,” said Sethman, “An increase in income or a decrease in income can affect your refund because you have less or more withholdings. But a lot of folks, especially when they get married or divorced, forget to mark those withholdings so that causes a lot of problems on their returns.”

Filing your taxes last minute becomes tricky based on submission standards. If a person is mailing in their return it must be postmarked by midnight Tuesday night—but because post offices close at the end of the regular business day, that means they have to be complete by the end of business day to get the time stamp.

Electronic filings must have an electronic time stamp before the midnight deadline to avoid any late penalties.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds taxpayers that there are quick solutions available if tax returns or payments can’t be made on time. The fasts way to file for an extension is through the “free file” link on the IRS website.

Filling out the form gives taxpayers an additional six months to file their tax return. If a person doesn’t file, or files after the April 18th deadline, they face a five percent penalty per month on the unpaid balance.

Other Options:
-INFreefile: Indiana provides free online tax filing to people making an adjusted gross income of less than $64,000 per year.
-Identity Protection: Indiana launched an identity protection program to stop tax fraud.
-Epay: Regardless of income, you can pay what you owe to the state of Indiana through it’s online EPay system which can be done before midnight Tuesday.