Tax time approaches
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2007
DEMOPOLIS &8212; The deadline for taxpayers to file their 2006 income tax return is quickly approaching and tax preparers are working
to complete the returns they have received, as well as assist clients with their last-minute tax needs.
Unlike H&R Block some other area tax preparers&8217; service are no longer available for this season.
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Gandy did offer some advice to clients seeking tax service.
The IRS also offers these tips for last minute tax filers:
1. AVOID PENALTIES
File on time, even if you can&8217;t pay in full. Taxpayers who file their tax return or an extension request by April 17th avoid the late filing penalty.
Options for payment:
4IRS installment agreement.
You can suggest your own monthly payment amount and due dates and get a reduced late payment penalty rate. There is a set-up fee. Use the new online payment agreement application at IRS.gov.
Charge your balance due, but be aware that the processor charges a convenience fee.
Charge taxes due online or by phone. Visit IRS.gov for details.
(TIP: Next year e-file early and authorize taxes due to be debited directly from a bank account on the due date.
That way you can file early and keep your money until the last minute.)
2. REQUEST AN EXTENSION
If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file to Oct. 15.
To get a filing extension (not a payment extension), e-file a Form 4868 that is included in most tax preparation software, or send the paper form to the IRS by midnight April 17th. Or, if you&8217;re paying your taxes by credit card, you can file an extension automatically at the same time you pay by phone or online.
3. DON&8217;T OVERLOOK THE PHONE TAX REFUND
This one-time refund has been missed by millions of filers. If you had a phone during the last 4 years, you probably paid this 3% tax and can request a refund of it on your tax return. If you don&8217;t have to file a return, use Form 1040EZ-T to request this tax back. The IRS allows $30 to $60 back without having to dig through old phone bills.
4. THREE DEDUCTIONS
If you&8217;re looking for the Sales Tax Deduction, the Tuition and Fees Deduction or the Educator&8217;s Expense Deduction, they&8217;re still around, but they didn&8217;t make it onto the tax forms. You&8217;ll have to write them in if you&8217;re doing a paper form. E-file software includes them.
5. DOUBLE-CHECK MATH AND DATA ENTRIES
Last-minute filers tend to make more mistakes. Check for math errors and make sure all names and Social Security numbers are correct and legible.
If your name changed during the year, notify the Social Security Administration before you file your tax return.
6. EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
You may be eligible to get back money from the IRS &045; even if you didn&8217;t pay anything in last year.
If you worked during any part of 2006 (a day, a week, a month, etc.) and had earned income below about $39,000, check to see if you qualify for this credit.
It could mean up to $4,500 in your pocket.
Visit IRS.gov and use the EITC Assistant to see if you qualify.
7. USE ELECTRONIC REFUND OPTIONS
Speed up your refund and reduce the chance of theft by having your refund deposited directly into your bank account. This year taxpayers using Direct Deposit have the option of having their refund split into as many as 3 different accounts, including an IRA. Use Form 8888 to split your refund.