Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

5 Tips For Avoiding Last Minute Tax Stress

Tips from the IRS:

Looking for ways to avoid the last-minute rush for doing your taxes? Here are some stress-relieving ideas to help you.

Don’t Procrastinate

Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute. Your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings and will likely increase your risk of making an error.

Visit the IRS Online

In fiscal year 2007, there were more than 214 million visits to and 1.35 billion page views. Anyone with Internet access can find tax law information and answers to frequently asked tax questions.

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov. Don't be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is .

File Your Return Electronically

Nearly 80 million taxpayers filed their returns electronically in fiscal year 2007. Aside from ease of filing, IRS e-file is the fastest and most accurate way to file a tax return. If you’re due a refund, the waiting time for e-filers is half that of paper filers.

Don’t Panic if You Can’t Pay

If you can’t immediately pay the taxes you owe, consider some stress-reducing alternatives. You can apply for an IRS installment agreement, using our new Web-based Online Payment Agreement application on The Web-based application allows eligible taxpayers or their authorized representatives to self-qualify, apply for, and receive immediate notification of approval. You also have various options for charging your balance on a credit or debit card. There is no IRS fee for credit or debit card payments, but the processing companies charge a convenience fee. Electronic filers with a balance due can also file early and pay their taxes directly from their checking or savings account on the April due date with no service fee.

Request an Extension of Time to File – But Pay on Time

If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six month extension of time to file to October 15. However, this extension of time to file does not give you more time to pay any taxes due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax by that date. See IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return for a variety of easy ways to apply for an extension. Form 4868 is available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers needing Form 4868 should act soon to be sure they have the item in time to meet the April deadline.

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