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Last Minute Tax Tips

Benjamin Franklin once penned, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” This infamous quote has stood the test of time and seems to be more relevant today than ever. Almost everyone has spent the past few weeks preparing to file their tax returns before the deadline hits tomorrow. Filing your taxes can be an immense pain, but it’s all worth it when you receive that glorious return check in the mail. If you’re still scrambling at the last minute to finish up your filing process, don’t panic – we’re here to help! Here are some helpful tax day hacks to help make your day a little easier.

Tax Tips for 2017

  1. For starters, you’re going to want to plan ahead to minimize the risk of any blunders. Make sure you check out the post office hours of operation so that you can schedule a window of time to drop off your return. There will also most likely be hordes of people who are sending out their returns at the last minute, so take that into account, as well as other factors that could hinder your outing, such as bad weather.

  2. After you have your delivery mapped out, make sure that you’re not forgetting anything. You won’t believe how many people forget to sign their return, so double check yours to see if everything is in order. Remember that both spouses must sign the form if you’re married! Other errors to look for include incorrect social security numbers, account numbers or any PIN errors if you’re submitting electronically.

  3. If you feel that you’re just too far behind on finishing your tax return, it would be wise to go ahead and file an extension. To do so, use the IRS Form 4868 through your tax software program in order to file a request. Doing this will give you until October 16th to complete your filing process. Don’t forget that this only extends the time to file your return and does not apply to paying the taxes you owe. If you’re facing financial issues and you’re unable to pay your taxes by the deadline, then you could face some penalties and fines. Make sure to contact the IRS and work out a solution on how to meet these payments. Often, they will allow you to pay these fees out in installments.

  4. One big concern to keep an eye out for as the day approaches is tax fraud. This occurs when someone steals your social security number and files a tax return in order to obtain a fraudulent refund. Tax fraud can be carried out in a number of different ways including scams, hacking and identity theft. There are many early warning signs you can detect that signal tax ID theft. For instance, if the IRS shows that you received wages from someone you didn’t work for or if more than one tax return was filed using your SSN, then you’re probably a victim of fraudulent activity.  If you sense any abnormal behavior or find that you’re a victim of tax ID theft, simply file a complaint with the FTC. You can also contact any credit bureau and alert them of fraudulent behavior on your credit records. You can also reach out to the IRS and they will take you through the necessary steps to resolve the situation.

Tax season may appear to be a maddening chore, but keep calm and remember that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s something that everyone has to go through and keep in mind that there are certain catalysts to help ease your stress. Usually there are different companies that offer free gifts and promotions, so be on the lookout for these great deals. You could end up with some cool free stuff!

Before tax day hits, now is a great time to make sure that all of your insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks-Al to have an agent review your policy to confirm that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs. We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insured through us!

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