6 Tips from the IRS for a less stressful tax season

Tax Time Stress6 Tips from the IRS for a less stressful tax season

Many people get stressed during tax season but it doesn’t have to be that way. Start early and follow a few simple tips — straight from the IRS.

How to reduce tax-time stress

  • Don’t procrastinate. Resist the temptation to put off tax preparation until the last minute. Deadline pressure may increase your chances of making an error and cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings.
  • Visit the IRS website. Millions of people visit the IRS website each year. Join them and make www.irs.gov your first stop. Check for the latest news and find answers to your questions about tax filing.
  • Use Free File. Let Free File do the hard work with brand name tax software or online fillable forms:
    • If your annual income is less than $58,000, you qualify for free tax software at www.irs.gov/freefile.
    • If your annual income is $58,000 or more and you are comfortable preparing your own tax return, there are Free File Fillable Forms at www.irs.gov/freefile.
  • Try IRS e-file. Millions of people use IRSTax Preparation Picture e-file each year — it’s safe and easy. If you owe taxes, you can file immediately and pay later (by the April 15 tax deadline). When you combine e-file with direct deposit the IRS generally can issue your refund in as few as 10 days.
  • Don’t panic if you can’t pay. If you can’t pay the full amount of taxes you owe by the mid-April deadline, you should still file your return by the deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest.Most taxpayers eligible for an Installment Agreement can apply using the Web-based Online Payment Agreement application available at www.irs.gov.To find out more about this simple and convenient process, type “Online Payment Agreement” in the search box at www.irs.gov. You can also call your local IRS office to discuss your payment options.
  • Request an extension of time to file — but pay on time. If the deadline is approaching and you are not ready to file, you can get an automatic extension through Oct. 15.However, this extension of time to file (which must be filed or postmarked by the April 15 deadline), does not give you more time to pay any taxes due.  If you have not paid at least 90 percent of the total tax due by the April deadline you may also be subject to an estimated tax penalty.You can obtain an extension through Free File
    at www.irs.gov/freefile. 1040 Tax Filing Form PictureOr, file IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, available for downloading at www.irs.gov or by calling (800) 829-3676 to have a paper form mailed to you. Allow at least 10 days for mailed forms and publications.

Follow these IRS tips and you’ll be on your way to a less stressful tax season.

**Note:  Please consult your Tax Advisor for specific instruction best suited for your unique situation.