Filing Your Taxes Today? 5 Tips to Help Make It Easy & Stress-Free

last minute tax filing tipsIt's the last day to do your taxes. Odds are some of you took care of this dreaded annual task the minute you had your paperwork lined up. But for some of us (yes, that's right, me too), today will be a long day (and night) of sorting through receipts, glaring with despair at our calculators, and shaking our fists at the heavens.

It's true. Doing taxes? That's no fun. Doing them at the last possible moment before midnight? That's even less fun. We can't turn back the hands of time for you, but we can help. We've compiled a list of 5 stress-reducing tips for the last-minute tax filers among us. So take a breath, eat a cookie, and keep reading.

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1. Don't Let Money Hold You Back

Even if you're worried that you owe the government money, you are better off filling out your return, filing, and mailing a portion (if any at all) of what you owe. That's because the fine for underpayment is LESS than the fine for late filing. Believe it or not, the IRS wants to help. They'll work with you if you work with them.

2. Apply for an Extension

If filing your taxes and doing it properly is no longer an option, you could be eligible for an extension. If approved for this general extension, you get an automatic six more months to file. If you're in the military or living abroad, you might get even more. Here's the general extension application form.

3. The Post Office Is Open Until Midnight

You really do have until midnight to get to your local post office -- there are several open until midnight to make filing easier. If you think your town might be the exception, use this link provided by the USPS to find an office open late near you.

4. E-File

Like we said, they have a bad reputation -- but they know it! The IRS is here to help. Their website is easier to navigate than ever. If you think you won't make it to the post office, you can file your federal return online with their e-filing service.

5. Don't Overlook These Credits

If you're doing taxes at the last minute by yourself, you could miss out on three credits folks commonly overlook. Don't cheat yourself out of money you're due by blowing through the return. Click below to see if you're eligible for one of these credits.

Are you a last-minute filer?

 

Image via © Wavebreak Media Ltd/Veer/Corbis

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