Last Minute Tips from the IRS…

A recent list of last minute tips from the IRS includes the following –

  • The world has changed. Avoid using paper tax forms. File electronically for free on IRS.gov using their Free File Fillable Forms or Traditional Free File.
  • Check social security numbers (SSN) CAREFULLY. Make certain ANY documents you include with the official IRS tax forms have a heading that includes the social security number of the primary tax payer AND the tax year.  If you have a balance due and are sending a check to the IRS as payment, include your SSN, the particular tax form you are using (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, etc.), and the tax year for which you are sending payment on the check. The IRS also recommends putting a day-time phone number somewhere on the check. I am old-fashion; I put the tax information in the upper left corner of the check above my name (and address if appropriate).  I would put a day-time phone number in the lower left memo section!
  • Check all your calculations. An old accounting trick is to check totals by adding numbers from the bottom up rather than from the top down. Change the order or sequence in the way you read or add numbers to make certain you eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.
  • Reconfirm which line AND column of tax tables or IRS charts you are using when you determine some value from published information.  Read the “At Least” AND the “But Less Than” columns carefully!
  • If you mail your return to the government, confirm that the address is correct in the “Where Do You File?” section on IRS.gov or in your tax instruction booklet. The address you use to mail a tax return with a balance due (you owe money to the government) is DIFFERENT from the address you use if you expect or are claiming a tax refund.
  • If you are mailing a payment for a tax balance due the government, write the check out to the “United States Treasury”. Send the payment with IRS Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher.
  • Consider electronic payments where you authorize electronic funds withdrawals or use a credit card.  Use the search feature on IRS.gov to learn more information about electronic payment options.
  • Consider filing IRS Form 4868, Application for Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return or IRS Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. Make certain you read the documentation carefully.
Consult a qualified tax preparer.

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