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Ten Tips for Last-Minute Filers

IRS Tax Tip 2011-70, April 8, 2011

The tax filing deadline is just around the corner. The IRS offers 10 tips for taxpayers still working on their tax returns:

1. File Electronically IRS e-file: It’s safe. It’s easy. It’s time. IRS e-file is now the norm; not the exception. The number of e-filed Form 1040 tax returns is approaching 1 billion after 20 years of safe, secure service. In 2010, 99 million people – 70 percent of all individual taxpayers - used IRS e-file to electronically transmit their tax returns to the IRS.

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, you should double-check that you have correctly figured the refund or balance due.

4. Check the Tax Tables If you are filing using the Free File Fillable Forms or a paper return, double-check that you have used the right figure from the tax table.

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.

6. Mailing Your Return If you are mailing a return, find the correct mailing address at http://www.irs.gov. Click the Individuals tab and the “Where to File” link under IRS Resources on the left side.

7. Mailing a Payment People sending a payment should make the check payable to “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.

8. Electronic Payments 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, visithttp://www.irs.gov.

9. Extension to File By the April 18th due date, you should either file a return or request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.

10. IRS.gov Forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects are available at http://www.irs.gov.

Links:

  • Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request (PDF 100K)
  • Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher ( PDF 72.2K)
  • Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return ( PDF 165K)
  • ">Official Payments Corporation

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-May-2013