IRS De-stress: 5 Tips for Last Minute Taxpayers
Take note: you have until April 18, 2023 to file federal income taxes. Most states are using this date; however, you can consult your state’s tax page to verify. If you’ve already crossed this off your list… congratulations! But if you’re in the company of the 25% of Americans who wait until the last minute, don’t panic. Below are five suggestions for filing in the final hour.
1. Get Organized
Save yourself time by gathering all relevant tax data documentation beforehand, including receipts and interest statements. (Electronic versions of CCU tax statements will be available in eDocuments within Online Banking (OLB) if you have registered for eDocs. If you haven’t, click on Documents & Statements within OLB to do so.) Some common forms include:
- W-2: Wage and Tax Statement
- W-4: Employee Withholding Certificate
- 1040: US Individual Income Tax Return (1040-SR: U.S. Tax Return for Seniors)
- 1099: Miscellaneous Income
- 1098: Mortgage Interest Statement (1098-T: Tuition Statement)
2. File Online
Opting to file a paper tax return can translate to weeks or even months of delays. Regardless of whether you’re expecting a refund, e-filing is the best option for prompt processing. For those wanting to steer clear of online software fees, the IRS offers free filing, which nearly 100 million Americans opted for last year. (Note that some IRS Free File providers do charge a fee for state tax preparation.)
3. Double-Check Deductions
It’s easy to overlook opportunities for tax deductions, especially if you experienced major life transitions in 2022, such as the purchase of a home or vehicle or the start of a new job. Among the most overlooked tax deductions that can help you pocket more money are contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) and contributions to a traditional IRA. (Roth IRA contributions won’t trim your tax bill but does allow you to max out the limits for retirement saving.)
4. Avoid Common Errors
Before filing, make sure you’ve reviewed your personal information such as your social security number, employer identification number(s), calculations, and signature/date to ensure that your return doesn’t have any easily avoidable mistakes. Minor errors can result in a rejected return and/or a delayed refund.
5. Consider an Extension
If filing before the deadline looks like it will be a problem, you can request an automatic tax-filing extension. Filing out this form gives you until October 15 to submit your tax return (note that since October 15 falls on a Sunday in 2023, your due date is technically Monday the 16). There’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re receiving a refund, but if you owe tax, late payment by even one day can result in penalties and interest.
6. Maximize Your Refund
If you’re anticipating a refund this season, Making the Most of Your Money is a quick and easy online course from our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness that provides tips on how to spend it – from establishing an emergency fund to saving up for a vacation.
This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.