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Saturday April 20, 2019

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Last-Minute Tax Filing Help

In IR-2019-67, the Service urged taxpayers to use www.irs.gov for last-minute tax assistance. Tax-filing day is April 15, 2019 (or April 17 for Maine and Massachusetts due to holidays).

The IRS offers five filing tips for last-minute taxpayers.
  1. View Your Account Information — You can go online and log in to your IRS account. On that account, you can view your amount owed, pay online and even set up your online payment agreement. Go to IRS.gov/SecureAccess to view the authentication methods.
  2. IRS YouTube — The IRS has extensive videos that explain how to file for an extension, how to avoid common filing errors and the different tax payment options. IRS videos have been viewed over 16 million times during the past decade.
  3. IRS Free File — Taxpayers with modest or moderate incomes are permitted to use free tax software to complete their return. Search for "Free File" on IRS.gov. It also is possible to prepare your return on your phone using the IRS2Go mobile app.
  4. IRS Services Guide — The IRS Services Guide explains many of the IRS's helpful online tools. These include the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Trails and IRS Tax Map.
  5. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) — Due to the substantial changes made under the TCJA, you may want to refer to Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families and Publication 5318, Tax Reform: What's New for Your Business.
In filing your tax return, especially if you are close to the filing deadline, it is important to avoid the top seven filing mistakes.
  1. Forms W-2 and 1099 — Make certain that you have entered the numbers correctly. Many returns that are filed have omitted a required Form 1099, producing incorrect income and a tax that is lower than what should be paid.
  2. Social Security Numbers — All dependents claimed on a return now must have a Social Security Number.
  3. Bank Account and Routing Number — Double check your bank account and routing numbers. The routing number identifies the bank and your account number identifies your account. Because most tax refunds are directly deposited in your bank account, it is essential that you have the correct numbers. If you have an incorrect number, your refund could be delayed or deposited into another person's account.
  4. Adjusted Gross Income — Many tax software products require you to enter the adjusted gross income from your prior return. This is part of the security process for electronic signatures. You will need to retain a copy of your return in order to file electronically. Prior year copies can be obtained using the Get Transcript Online tool on www.IRS.gov.
  5. Mailing Paper Return — If you complete a paper return, you will need to mail it to the correct IRS location. Depending on your state of residence, there may be a specific IRS location for mailing your return.
  6. Tax Tables — If you are using tax tables to calculate your tax, double check to make sure you are using the correct column and table for your filing status.
  7. Signing the Return — All returns must be signed. If you file electronically, you may provide a qualified electronic signature.

Published April 19, 2019
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