Final days of income tax season
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - April 12, 2011 (WPVI) -- Thanks to the give-and-take on Capitol Hill over taxes last year, Internal Revenue Service is giving U.S. Taxpayers an extra three days to file 2010 income tax returns.
I.R.S. Spokesman Bill Cressman urges everyone to use their time wisely.
For example, there are mistakes people tend to make, and moreso at the last minute.
Your Social Security number is also your taxpayer I.D. Number, and if it is not reported correctly, processing your tax return will be delayed.
If you use tax preparation software, it will most likely take you through everything you need to do. But if you're working with pencil and paper, make sure you don't miss any income items, and, especially, don't miss deductions and credits.
Most taxpayers qualify for the Making Work Pay Credit, which can make a difference of hundreds of dollars in your tax liability. This requires you to file Schedule M with your tax return.
There are also substantial tax benefits if you adopted a child in 2010, but this claim has strict paperwork requirements.
If you use tax preparation software, that should provide all the forms you need. But if you're doing the work by hand, note that I.R.S. No longer mails tax packages to individuals.
If you need forms, they're available at the Federal Building, 6th and Arch Streets in Center City, or online from http://www.irs.gov, where you can also get instructions and seek answers to questions.
Remember, the April 15th filing deadline has been extended to April 18th this year.
The states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania have extended their filing deadlines to match.
In Delaware, where the state filing deadline is usually April 30th, it's extended to May 2nd, but note that you still have to file your federal return by April 19th.
If you can't finish preparing a return by the deadline, use Form 4868 to get an automatic extension of time to file, and your return will not be due until mid-October.
States generally accept these extension forms, too, but note that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay what taxes you owe.
You are required to project your tax liability the best you can and pay up by the filing deadline. Otherwise, you are liable for a penalty. As long as your payments total at least 90% of your actual liability there are no additional charges.
If you cannot afford to pay what you owe, there are third-party agencies which allow you to pay via credit card These may carry a service charge.
Under certain circumstances, I.R.S. may agree to let you pay out your liability over time, but this is something you need to arrange before the filing deadline.
As for taxpayers expecting a refund, even at the last minute, you will get your money fastest if you file your return electronically and elect direct deposit. Even at the deadline, that could get you a refund in less than two weeks.
If you choose a paper check by mail this time of year, you could be waiting six to eight weeks. If you need taxpayer help by phone, you may call I.R.S. toll-free at 1-800-TAX-1040. But hours of operation are limited. Their website is available 24 hours a day.
tax day, taxes, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state
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