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IRS Offers Ten Last-Minute Filing Tips Before the April 15 Filing Deadline

IRS offers some quick and easy last minute tips for those who have not filed their 2012 taxes.

Have you filed yet? If you haven't, then take heed...here are 10 tax tips to consider as the April 15 deadline nears:

  • An extension of time is available – An automatic six-month extension to file through October 15, 2013 provides taxpayers with an extra six months to file but not to pay. Those who owe should make their payments on or before April 15 to avoid any potential penalties and/or interest.
  • Use IRS E-file or Free-File – E-file is safe, accurate, less time consuming and popular. More than 85% of all returns into the IRS thus far in 2013 are e-filed. In addition, the IRS Free-File program is available to everyone.
  • Direct Deposit – The quickest way to a refund is through direct deposit.
  • Get Free Help – Low-to-moderate income taxpayers and seniors can get free tax return preparation at dozens of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites located throughout Southern California and Nevada until April 15. Simple returns and income generally less than $50,000 normally qualifies for VITA assistance. Find site locations by calling the IRS VITA toll-free number at 800-906-9887, or by calling 211.
  • Don’t Miss Out – Be sure to not overlook any applicable tax benefit, credit or deduction. Tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the “Saver’s” Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit often fly under the radar. In addition, the recent law brought back the Full-Time educator (teacher) deduction, the sales tax deduction and the Tuition and Fees deduction for 2012 and 2013.
  • Watch out for Tax Scams – The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers through email. In addition, if something seems like it is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Consider payment options – Taxpayers who cannot full pay a balance due have options such as an installment agreement plan or an offer-in-compromise. The IRS urges those who cannot fully pay their taxes to file a return, pay what they can and let the agency know. IRS has the flexibility to help.
  • Check Refund Status – Use the “Where’s My Refund” feature on IRS.gov anytime.
  • Unclaimed 2009 Tax Refunds – Almost $1 billion is available to thousands of taxpayers but a tax return is needed to claim on or before April 15, 2013.
  • Go online for tax questions or help – Visits to IRS.gov are up 22% over last year. For ease and convenience, check online first before you call the IRS or visit an IRS office.

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