Tired of worrying about tax deductions, 1040 forms, and the IRS? Maybe it's time to get your taxes done! Tax Day is April 17, one week from today.
While most know that April 15 is the traditional Tax Day, the fact that April 15, 2012, is a Sunday has thrown things out of whack a little ... in the procrastinator's favor. The following Monday, April 16, is not Tax Day due to a somewhat obscure Washington, D.C., holiday called Emancipation Day, which bumps Tax Day one more day. Tax Day 2012 is Tuesday, April 17.
Even with that, one week out is a perilously close time to start preparing your taxes. Here are some tips for us procrastinator types:
1. If you can afford it, you might consider getting some help. Local tax-preparing accountants, unfortunately, may be full-up with clients who didn't procrastinate -- but a phone call won't hurt. And there are the national commercial services, such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt that are likely not only able to help you even at a late juncture, but counting on last-minute clients.
2. There are online tools that can help you. The IRS itself provides several: printable and electronic versions of forms, e-filing, and "Free File," a software from the IRS that is free to people earning less than $57,000 a year.
3. You have the option of requesting an extension. The IRS that taxpayers can use the IRS Free File tools to make a request (IRS.gov/freefile). The agency says: "Select 'Browse the list of Free File companies' and look for 'free extensions' in the company offers. But remember, this is an extension to file your return, not to pay." In other words, the IRS is saying that if you think you owe money, you still must send it with your extension request.
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