The IRS website references a study done by TurboTax, the popular tax preparation software company: nearly three out of 10 Americans delay paying their taxes until two weeks before the deadline.
Tax day falls on April 17 this year, and H & R Block District Manager Phil Amundsen said people are getting started even later than usual.
This year is actually a little worse, Amundsen said. There has been a delay in mailing out the 1099s and because of the delay weve has seen a lot of extension requests.
But Amundsen, who works out of White Plains, said that sometimes, waiting until the last minute can be wise, if only to make sure one has all source documents.
You dont want to have come back in because you just received a 1099 or a W-2 at the last minute and so you have to amend your return, Amundsen said.
Taking the time to really study the materials from the IRS also gives people a chance to take advantage of all the tax credits available, Amundsen said. It might take filing later to guarantee getting all the credits and deductions deserved.
He added that the two most frequently missed available credits that he is seeing locally are the credit for natural disaster relief, due to massive flooding in Westchester and Rockland Counties from Augusts Hurricane Irene. The other is the education credit.
With all of the people going back to school right now due to the economy, Amundsen said, Theres money to be had.
Another way to ease the process, said Amundsen, is e-filing. Filing electronically is faster and easier, he said, since state and federal taxes can be filed at the same time.
You will know within 24 hours and you can actually get an acknowledgement from the IRS whether or not your return was accepted, Amundsen said.
According to the IRS website, it is also more accurate to use tax software like TurboTax and TaxACT, which will check for common mistakes like incorrect calculations and whether all appropriate forms are attached and signed.
Amundsen said that in the end, it does not matter when you do your return, whether it is Jan. 2 or April 17, your tax liability -- the amount of money you need to pay -- needs to be in by tax day.
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