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Last Minute Tax Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

April 15 is just a few days away – have you filed your tax return yet? If not, you need to get yourself in gear and take care of it as the deadline is April 15th. Even with a rapidly approaching deadline, there is no reason to panic. Here are a few last minute tax tips for all the last minute tax filers:

Get Organized First: you will need a fair amount of concentration to file your taxes, so it may be better to work in a quiet area than it is to work on the coffee table in the living room with the television on. Get all of your information together including your w-4 from all jobs held in 2008, 1099 forms that show miscellaneous income sources, and any records for deductions (medical bills, charitable donation receipts, mortgage interest statements, self employed records, etc). It's easier to try and gather everything you'll need before you start to help you move through the process quickly rather than spending time every other line on the return searching for the necessary paperwork to complete it.

File Online (and for free): Did you know that regardless of your income, you can file your tax returns online for free this year, through the IRS website? Visit for details. If you need software to walk you through filing step by step, you can get that for free if your adjusted gross income in 2008 was $56,000 or less. One of the benefits of filing your taxes electronically is that if you are eligible for a refund, you'll get the money faster than you would if you mailed your returns in – especially if you're mailing in at the last minute.

You can get an extension: Everyone is entitled for an extension of six months (until October 15th) for filing their tax returns if you can't get them done on time. You do have to request the extension by April 15th, and filing one doesn't mean that you have more time to pay any taxes that you owe. You will need to estimate how much you owe to the IRS and send a check in by April 15th, and make up the difference when you complete the return before the October extended deadline.

Many people believe filing for an extension increases your likeliness for being audited, but the audit risks are the same for people who file before April 15th and those who file for an extension.

Use Standard Deduction to make it faster to file: if you don't have a complicated financial situation, as in you don't have a home mortgage with interest and you don't make large charity donations that you need to claim, chances are you can file using the standard deduction instead of itemizing. In 2008, the standard deduction for a single person was $5,450 while married couples can take the standard deduction of $10,900. If you are over the age of 65 and/or have disabilities, you get a higher standard deduction. Not everyone needs to itemize their deductions and it's only useful if your itemized deductions will be higher than the standard deduction you could use.

Get a last minute tax deduction by contributing to your IRA: open or contribute to an IRA and the contribution will count for the 2008 tax year if you contribute before April 15th. Up to $5,000 can be deducted from your taxes (or $6,000 if you're 50 or older) – although eligibility depends on your income.

Random sources of income: Don't forget bank accounts that earn interest, even if you closed them during 2008 you have to report the interest those accounts earned. Did you work and get paid for jury duty? Freelance work? All sources of income should be reported when you file your tax return.


john (Guest) - April 15th is just days away - who left in the tax return yet? Otherwise, you must obtain their own equipment and to ensure its deadline is April 15 at the latest. As the deadline rapidly approaching, there is no reason to panic. Here are some tips for last minute tax all the last-minute Tax Filers: Sort First, you need quite a concentration of some file your taxes, so it might be better to work in a quiet area because it is the work of a small table in the television stay. All the information together for the w-4 of all jobs in 2008, 1099 forms, showing the various sources of income, and record of all deductions (medical expenses, donation receipts, mortgage interest statements, self accounting, etc.). It 's easier to try to gather everything you need before you begin will help you to move quickly and not waste time every second ============================= Consolidation Debt
Michelle (Guest) - So I requested an extension for taxes. But as an international student I have very little income already, and my taxes were deducted directly from my pay checks. Do I still have to fill out all the forms and mail them?
CHNfly - Thanks !
aida0205 - what a great idea.. i will used that info..
anne_20002002 - nice info, thanks for sharing this