The upcoming tax filing deadline is giving most Americans headaches and sleepless nights. But the IRS is doing its bit to help people by asking them to stay informed about the latest changes in policies so that they can benefit from the new tax breaks announced as part of President Obama’s economic reconstruction program.
The IRS is also encouraging people to use technology to make tax filing simpler and more convenient. Details are being broadcast over the IRS website along with reminders to look for eligibility to any of the new policies that may reduce the tax burden.
Online filing has been becoming more popular over the last few years. According to the IRS, 2 of every 3 taxpayers file electronically now. Rumors that e-filed tax returns are more visible for audits are being dispelled by the IRS. Inside sources say that exactly the opposite is more likely. Online filing is relatively error free when compared with paper returns, so they also draw lesser attention from the authorities.
Whether you choose the online route or not, the IRS is also stressing on making sure that all data entered is accurate, especially social security numbers, bank detail, and address for refund checks. To speed up the refund process, the IRS suggests asking for a direct deposit, which they assure will be done within 10 days, provided all your data is error free.
Taxpayers who are likely to overshoot the April 15th filing deadline have a reprieve in the form of an extension request which can give them much needed breathing space and time to recheck all the information on the form. However, it is important to remember that the extension is for form filing and not for payment of taxes. To avoid late filing penalties, make sure you apply for the extension before the April 15th deadline.
Self employed people must ensure that they have taken advantage of all the deductions they are entitled to after understanding the conditions associated with them. Small businesses may benefit from employee health coverage benefits while home buyer credit and educational loan tax breaks will also benefit many.
As more and more people show a preference for self filing rather than taking professional help, the IRS has highlighted its Free File program, which provides free access to tax software to guide tax payers through the complex and often confusing process of filing returns.