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Still haven't filed your taxes? You've got this! 7 tips to help you get it done

April 13, 2024

(BPT) - Haven't filed your taxes yet? It's coming down to the wire, but there's still time. You've got this! File instantly, even on April 15, when you do it online, and get your refund quickly, too with e-file and direct deposit. All it takes is some upfront organization of your documents and the right resources to help you get the job done.

Here's your strategy for last-minute tax filing.

Gather your tax documents. Start the e-filing process by getting all your documents in one place so you have information at hand when you need it. This means your W2s and 1099s. Double-check and write down vital information like Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse and your children, and everyone's birthdays. Also gather any receipts and forms that show things like childcare expenses, donations and student loan or mortgage interest since you may be able to claim these expenses and increase your refund or lower your taxes. If you're self-employed think about your medical insurance premiums, mileage, home office expenses, and more.

About those deductions and credits... Not sure about what sorts of deductions or credits you might qualify for? Some areas to keep in mind are benefits for your kids like the Child Tax Credit or the Child and Dependent Care Credit if your kids are under the age of 13 (no age requirement if they are disabled) and you took them to a before- or after-school care program, daycare or day camp so you can work. If you have been hearing about the possible expansion of the Child Tax Credit and were holding off on filing, the IRS Commissioner encourages people to file and has stated that the IRS will adjust impacted returns if an expansion happens. Plus, according to the latest TurboTax Tax Trends Report, as of March 21, 2024, more people have already claimed the credit this year (31.7%) compared to 30.9% in tax year 2022.

File even if you make under the IRS income filing requirement.

The IRS reports over $1 billion in unclaimed refunds every year, much of which belongs to people who make under the IRS income filing threshold and don’t file their taxes. You could be leaving money on the table if you had federal taxes withheld or are eligible for refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit.

E-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund! This one is a no-brainer, especially if you're filing at the last minute. The IRS states that most tax filers will receive their tax refunds within 21 days or less of acceptance if they e-file with direct deposit. If you file a paper return and mail it, it can take six to eight weeks to receive your refund.

Have a virtual or local tax expert file for you. If you prefer to have your taxes prepared by an experienced tax expert, you can have your taxes prepared from start to finish in as little as a day, if you work with a TurboTax Full Service expert. You can also still meet with a neighborhood tax pro you trust to handle this process. Visit the TurboTax Verified Tax Pro site to find pros in your area.

What to do if you owe but can't pay. You owe Uncle Sam some money. What if you don't have it? First, don't panic. The IRS is very good at working with people to set up an installment agreement that allows you to pay what you owe over six years.

Remember an extension is an extension to file and not pay. Can't get it together on time? You can file an extension. Simply request an extension by filling out Form 4868. One important thing to know: An extension is an extension to file and not to pay. If you know what you might owe, or at least an estimate, you can pay 90% of what you owe by April 15 to avoid penalties.

Even though the clock is ticking, you can get this done by April 15. Just get organized before you sit down to file online, and get help if you need it. For more information, visit TurboTax at https://turbotax.intuit.com/.

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