Last-Minute Tips for Thursday’s Tax Deadline

The deadline is here! Thursday is the last day to file your 2014 tax return. We have our final push in the office this week, with clients feverishly trying to get us their information. If you, like some of our clients, are still trying to comply with the deadline, I want to offer some last-minute tips.

Understand What You’re Signing

I know it’s tempting to have a preparer complete the return and for you to sign it without reviewing it in order to get it filed as quickly as you can. Don’t do that. Even if someone else prepares the return, you are the one ultimately responsible for its content. So take the time to understand your income and deductions for 2014. For an overview on how returns work, you can check out my previous regarding what you need to know.

File on Time

I want to reiterate that you will incur a pretty steep penalty for failing to file your return if you owe the government money. Make the return a priority so you can avoid the failure-to-file penalty and any interest that’s associated with the balance.

File Even If You Can’t Pay the Balance

You may find that you owe more on your tax return than you previously thought and can’t afford to pay the balance in full. That’s okay. There are plenty of options in order to resolve your tax debt. For example, you can apply for hardship status or an installment agreement. I wrote about resolving your tax debt here. Just make sure to file on time to avoid owing more on top of your balance.

Good luck to all of you still trying to get your return done and to those tax preparers making the final push. If all of this is too stressful to handle, I’ll offer some tips on Friday for getting ahead of the game for next year’s filing.