Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Last Minute Tax Tips

Mar 22, 2016 03:32AM ● Published by Flint Zerangue, Sr.

Even though it’s common knowledge that tax day is April 15 (April 18 for filing 2015 taxes in 2016), many people wait until the last minute to file their income taxes.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 20-25 percent of Americans wait until the two weeks prior to the deadline to prepare their tax returns. To avoid scrambling as tax season draws to a close, here are some tips to help you prepare and file your taxes – even at the last minute.

Get Organized
One of the biggest tax time hassles for many is getting the necessary documents together. To make preparing your taxes go smoother, make sure you have the information you will need, including all of those forms that come in January, such as W-2s, 1099, mortgage interest statements, student loan statements and any receipts related to moving, medical bills or work expenses before you sit down to file your return.

Itemize Your Deductions
While it’s easier to just take the standard deduction, you may be able to save more by itemizing – and it’s worth the added work if your qualified expenses add up to more than the 2015 standard deduction for an individual ($6,300) or married couple filing jointly ($12,600). Many deductions are well-known, including those for children, student loan or mortgage interest and charitable donations. However, there are other deductions available, such as job-related expenses, like work clothing and equipment, professional dues or business car expenses, that are deductible if the combined amount is more than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income, as well as medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Get Help if You Need It
If you feel uncomfortable doing your taxes on your own, there are products and services available to help you file. You can speak with a tax professional to have them prepare your taxes or help you through the process, or use a computer program, which will help with everything from tracking deductions by answering simple questions, to selecting the correct forms for even the most complex returns while also allowing you to file electronically for a faster refund.

File Faster Online
Because the IRS processes electronic returns faster than mailed-in paper ones, there are several benefits that come with filing online, especially at the last minute when time is precious. Since online returns are processed faster, that means you can expect a faster refund – the wait time is even less if you elect to have your refund deposited directly into your account. The IRS also checks electronically filed returns for completion and sends acknowledgement of receipt to put your mind at ease.

Consider Requesting an Extension
If you don’t think you’ll be able to finish your return on time, make sure to file for an extension using Form 4868 by April 18. Extensions are generally approved automatically and grant you a six-month extension to file. An extension to file, however, is not an extension to pay owed taxes, so paying your estimated balance due is imperative when it comes to avoiding late-payment fees. If you’re worried about paying what you owe, the IRS recommends filing your taxes or an extension and then setting up a payment plan.

No matter the reason for the delay in filing, getting prepared and taking advantage of available resources can help you beat the deadline and get best possible refund.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by Family Features

Home, Family Family Features Family Features Lifestyle
  • The Boutique Bridal Show

    01/21/2018
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Boutique Bridal Show is intimate, organized and effective. Our focus is on vendors and brides...


  • Citizenship Classes

    01/22/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • 3D Printing 101

    01/23/2018
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Have a child or teenager interested in learning the basics of creating and printing on a 3D print...


  • The Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet is Thursday, Jan 18th at the Cade Community...


  • Citizenship Classes

    01/17/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • Lin Emery and the Appeal of Kinetic Sculpture

    01/17/2018
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for a special lecture with Art Historian and Physicist Philip Palmedo that celebrates the...


  • The Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet is Thursday, Jan 18th at the Cade Community...


  • Join four-time competitor and two-time American Ninja Warrior finalist Cass Clawson for the grand...


  • Free-Throw Thursdays

    01/18/2018
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Every Thursday of the months of January and February join friends and fellow basketball lovers fo...


  • The Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet is Thursday, Jan 18th at the Cade Community...


  • Friends of the Library Mystery Book Sale

    01/20/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Support the Friends of the Library by heading down to the Main Library in downtown Lafayette and ...


  • The Boutique Bridal Show

    01/21/2018
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Boutique Bridal Show is intimate, organized and effective. Our focus is on vendors and brides...


  • Citizenship Classes

    01/22/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • 3D Printing 101

    01/23/2018
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Have a child or teenager interested in learning the basics of creating and printing on a 3D print...


  • Citizenship Classes

    01/24/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • Heart Notes with Ashana Sophia

    01/24/2018
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    From the atoms that make up your body to the spiraling Milky Way galaxy, everything is an express...


  • Cinema on the Bayou

    01/24/2018
    06:30PM

    The 13th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival has selected nearly 180 films, including World, U.S. a...


  • Free-Throw Thursdays

    01/25/2018
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Every Thursday of the months of January and February join friends and fellow basketball lovers fo...


  • Tutor Training Workshop

    01/25/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    TUTOR TRAINING WORKSHOP Thursday, January 25 and Thursday, February 1 5:00-7:30 p.m. Tu...


  • Blowout Book Sale

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Come to the Hilliard Store for a blowout book sale! Select titles will up to 50% off. Members can...


  • Citizenship Classes

    01/29/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • Citizenship Classes

    01/31/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • Flex your creative writing muscles at a literature workshop organized by the Acadiana Writing Pro...


  • Free-Throw Thursdays

    02/01/2018
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Every Thursday of the months of January and February join friends and fellow basketball lovers fo...


  • Tutor Training Workshop

    02/01/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    TUTOR TRAINING WORKSHOP Thursday, January 25 and Thursday, February 1 5:00-7:30 p.m. Tu...


  • During February's workshop, the legendary Jackie Miller of Iota, Louisiana, will be leading a tra...


  • Courir de Mardi Gras

    02/04/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join us at Vermilionville on Sunday, February 4th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, as we bring a tra...


  • Citizenship Classes

    02/05/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • Trivia Time

    02/05/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Think you know your trivia? Have you watched way too many Rom-Coms and think you can beat out oth...


  • Citizenship Classes

    02/07/2018
    05:00PM — 07:30PM

    NINE WEEK COURSE Beginning Wednesday, January 17th MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS 5:00-7:30 P.M....


  • Join the theatre department as select students perform pieces of poetry, monologues, and short sc...


  • Lafayette Reads Together Film Screening

    02/07/2018
    06:00PM — 07:45PM

    As a part of the Lafayette Read Together event, two films will be screened in February for those ...


 

 

January 2018 - 10th Anniversary Issue