July 15 deadline: 5 tips for last-minute filers

Mistakes could lead the agency to flag your return

The July 15 tax deadline is approaching, and some Americans may be rushing to get their returns in on time.

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The IRS had received about 142.3 million returns as of the beginning of July, but failure to file – and failure to pay – by the deadline can result in a host of costly penalties.

Don’t forget, if you cannot meet the deadline you can apply for an extension of time to file.

JULY 15 TAX FILING DEADLINE: A LOOK AT IRS PENALTIES

Here are some tips for filing last-minute returns, with help from researchers at TaxAudit.

Proofread your return

In order to stay off the IRS’ audit radar, make sure you double-check all the items on your return for accuracy.

For example, the IRS will flag returns with deductions that don’t make sense.

Make sure you reported all sources of income, including information from W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, etc.

If you realize you made a mistake, you can always file an amended return.

Compare your 2019 return to your 2018 return

If your situation is similar to last year, it could help to cross-check your data with information filed with the agency last tax season.

JULY 15 TAX FILING DEADLINE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Turn to the website

The IRS website offers help at all times, including on everything from filing a return to requesting an extension or making a payment.

Verify e-filing

If you are filing your return electronically, TaxAudit suggests taxpayers follow up to make sure it was accepted by both the state and the IRS.

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Making a payment:

Options to make your tax payment include electronic payment options, IRS Direct pay (which draws directly from a checking or savings account) or through tax software. The IRS said electronic payment options are typically the quickest and easiest way to make a payment.

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