If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, here are some last-minute tips from a local tax preparer

Final tax days tips

The IRS reports that millions of taxpayers have yet to file their 2018 tax returns. The deadline to file before receiving any penalties is today. 

“If you’ve waited until the final hour to file your 2018 Tax Returns, you’re not alone. The IRS reports that over 50 million people have yet to file. A local tax professional is giving advice on what needs to be done at this time, such as filing for an extension, to avoid penalties.

 “I thought that by now things would be dying down, but it seems like they’re actually picking up,” said Gianni Logan, the owner of Gianna Logan Professional Financial Consultant. 

She’s advising anyone who is struggling to complete things at the last minute to file for an extension to avoid any penalties. : “For individuals, you want to look for form 4868. That’s the form that you file in order to file the extension,” said Logan describing how to file for an extension. “Form 7004. That is for business owners who are set up as corporations,” she added. 

If this isn’t done before the deadline, tax payers will face 5% penalties a month. She said payment penalties will still stand if the IRS doesn’t receive payments by April 15th. 

Another tip she has is to use the Tax Withholding Calculator on the IRS’s website to accurately determine how much you may or may not have to pay back. 

“So what a lot of taxpayers have discovered is that this year due to all of the changes with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a lot of taxpayers are seeing that they actually owe money and that’s because the tax rate changed during the year,” said Logan. 

She advises everyone to get a step ahead of the game by preparing for next year. Logan added that using that calculator will help set up estimated payments. “And making payments into that so that you’re not paying for your taxes all at once,” she added. 

Most tax-related questions can be answered by going to www.irs.gov Here in Louisiana, you have at least one more month to file your *state* tax returns. The deadline for that is May 15th.

“Information about free e-file options, such as IRS FreeFile, how to request an automatic six-month filing extension or fast, secure ways to pay any tax due using IRS Direct Pay are available online at IRS.gov.,” the agency says.

The IRS recommends avoiding these 9 common mistakes when filing your returns.

  1. Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers
  2. Misspelled names
  3. Filing status errors
  4. Math mistakes
  5. Errors in figuring tax credits or deductions
  6. Incorrect bank account numbers
  7. Forms not signed
  8. Electronic filing PIN errors
  9. Filing with an expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

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