Now that April 18th has passed, most of us feel relieved to be done with our taxes. If you haven’t filed yet don’t panic, you can still file your taxes and Let’s Get Set is available to help you. Don’t wait and take these steps to file:
- Make sure that you have to file
This may go without saying, but if you do not need to file or are receiving a refund, there is no penalty for filing late. You can take a look here to find out if you need to file. On the flip side, if you owe money, you should file and pay as soon as you can. The longer you wait the more interest and penalties add up. If you are unsure if you owe, use a refund estimator (like Let’s Get Set’s) to get a rough estimate if you owe or are likely to get a refund.
One question we get asked is if filing for an extension would help. Extensions provide extra time to file your tax return but they do not provide extra time to pay any taxes that are owed. Don’t rely on extensions to give you more time to pay. Since the deadline to pay any taxes owed has already passed, you will want to file and pay as soon as possible instead of building up additional penalties and interest.
If you lived in an area that had a disaster declaration, the IRS may have provided additional time for you to pay and file your taxes due to the emergency. The IRS announces these changes here.
- File as soon as you can
If you need to file a tax return, get all your information together as soon as possible. While you may want to start preparing your return in software or schedule a tax appointment, the amount of time you take to file will be reduced if you can get organized first. Since tax season has ended many in-person tax preparers are either closed or have limited hours; you will want to make sure your time working with them is well spent. If you decide to prepare your own taxes by using software, by having your documents together you will save yourself a lot of time instead of searching each time you need to find a form.
If you are missing any forms like a W-2 from your employer, request those forms as soon as you can. If you cannot get them from your employer, request a copy from the IRS at their Get Transcript website.
- Don’t miss out on tax credits
Even if you do not have to file, it is worth taking a moment to see if you would qualify for tax credits that could still get you a refund. Generally, individuals have three years from the filing deadline to claim any refund. You still have time to claim the refunds from 2020 since the deadline was extended.
If you think you owe taxes, check for any credits that may reduce or eliminate your tax liability. If you can reduce your tax liability, you will also lower the amount of interest you will pay.
- Get the support you need
Whether you need to file, are unsure if you should file, or if you already have filed this year make sure that if you need support you do not delay. Let’s Get Set’s support textline is available all year to ensure that you can continue to get help and ask questions.