I’ll be the first to admit it… I’m in the tax business and struggle every year to have my own personal tax return completed by the April 15th deadline. As a matter of fact, Uncle Sam gave me two extra days this year and I still didn’t get it done in time! If you’re in the same boat, I’ll offer up a few helpful hints which will hopefully “inspire” you to get your return submitted.

The goal is to get your return submitted as quickly as possible. The interest and penalty clock starts ticking immediately so, the sooner you get your return filed, the less you’ll be penalized. This means that e-filing your return is still your best option. By e-filing your return, you’ll know immediately that the IRS has received it. By mailing your return through the postal service, you may have to wait weeks to receive confirmation that the return was successfully submitted.

Once you complete your return and know how much you’ll owe, pay as much as you can when you submit the return. If you can pay it in full, great! If not, you can request an installment agreement for the amount you cannot pay immediately. An installment agreement can be requested by filing a Form 9465 with you return. The form is simple and allows you to suggest your own monthly payment amount and payment due date. The IRS will acknowledge your request for a payment plan soon after the request has been received.

Lastly, don’t be surprised when you receive a bill for interest and penalties. There are two penalties that may be assessed: a late filing penalty and a late payment penalty. Both are relative to the amount of tax due to the IRS so paying as much as you can as soon as possible will help reduce any additional amount you may owe.

For those of you who are due a refund, you’ll also want to file as quickly as possible. You will not be charged any interest or penalties for filing after the due date but you may forfeit your refund if you don’t file within three years. 

Be sure to check in with your local liberty tax® office, if you need any help completing your return!

Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.