Simpsons characters show the perils of last-minute tax filing
// Don't Mess With Taxes
This old clip from The Simpsons highlights why most of us nowadays, even after the Heartbleed bug online security scare, are e-filing our annual tax returns.
If you're not an early filer like Ned Flanders and are still working on your return (or plan to this weekend) so you can get it to the post office on April 15 or, more likely, hit "enter" on your keyboard by that day, the Daily Tax Tips could help.
Feel free to peruse them all; they started Jan. 6 and will wrap up on, you guessed it, April 15. And start at whatever month you want. Each compilation -- January, February, March and April -- has links to the other tips listings.
All the tips are like my kids, so it's hard to pick favorites. But here are some that might be particularly useful, especially for late filers:
- Tax tips for new filers
- Tax filing checklist
- Electronic tax filing options
- 10 often overlooked tax breaks
- 10 common filing mistakes
- Tax break bait and switch
- Tax concerns of the unemployed
- Cut your taxes without itemizing
- 12 small business deductions
- 4 tax breaks for older filers
- 5 new taxes that target rich taxpayers
- Don't deduct that!
- Being DIFferent could prompt a tax audit
- Selfies as tax filing, audit defense tool
Of course, taxes and tastes in tax tips are intensely personal. So your tax tip choices might differ. But with 96 tips and counting -- we'll hit tip #100 on April 15 -- hopefully you'll find some information to make your late-season filing easier.
And if you find you just can't finish your 1040 by next Tuesday, then don't. But do file Form 4868 to get an automatic extension. It's better to file later and get it right than to get in a hurry and send in an error-riddled return.
Remember, though, that 4868 is an extension to file the forms, not pay your tax bill. So send the Internal Revenue Service any tax bill you expect to owe, or as much as you can, with your extension request.
Making at least a partial payment will reduce the penalties and interest you'll owe when you eventually finish your filing.
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