If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you may be wondering how to file your taxes fast! After all, Tax Day – the official deadline for filing your federal tax return – is just around the corner. In order to meet the deadline, you must file your taxes by midnight Tuesday, April 17. Many post offices and mailing services are open late that evening for those who need to have their paper returns postmarked for that day.
Why Isn’t the Deadline April 15th?
The tax deadline is often April 15th, but it’s a bit later than normal this year for two reasons. First of all, April 15th is a Sunday, and since there’s no mail on Sunday, the deadline would typically be pushed to the next weekday. But since Monday, April 16th, is Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in Washington, D.C. – the tax law says that legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the entire country. That’s why the tax deadline is April 17, according to the IRS.
5 Tips on How to File Taxes Fast!
If the deadline has snuck up on you, and you haven’t even thought about your taxes, much less filed them, here are five tips on how to file taxes fast:
1. File Your Own Taxes Online
If your taxes are not very complicated, online tax services can be very easy to use, and they allow you to file your taxes instantly with the push of a button. They literally walk you through various tax situations and all you have to do is answer some questions and fill in some information from your W-2s or other tax forms you’ve received.
There are two ways to use these services. You can either purchase software in a retail store – like Costco or Target – and then install it on your computer. Or you can just set up an account and complete your taxes in the cloud. Each method has its own advantages.
The purchased software programs typically cover the costs of filing one or more tax returns, whereas with cloud services, you don’t typically pay anything until you’ve completed your tax return online and are ready to electronically file with the IRS. The latter method is probably best if you’ve never done your own taxes before because you are under no obligation to pay until you’ve confirmed that you can successfully do your own taxes and are ready to file.
2. Try a Walk-In Tax Service
There are several retail tax services that have convenient locations in shopping centers and malls that let you walk in the front door and wait in line to have your taxes done on the spot. These include H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and Liberty Tax Service, among others. Tax specialists are typically on hand at these locations in especially large numbers around the tax filing deadline. However, since you won’t be the only one who’s waited until the last minute, be prepared to wait a while.
3. Try a Local Accountant
Many accountants and accounting services supplement their incomes by doing some degree of tax work. Try searching in Google for tax accountants in the area that also say they will do taxes. You may need to set up an appointment if you find an accountant that can do your taxes quickly. However, since everything is done digitally these days, some accountants will let you upload your tax documents to a portal. Then they file your returns electronically after letting you review them online, which means you never even have to step foot in an office or wait in a line.
4. Rely on a Friend or Family Member
We all have that friend or family member who is just good at numbers, accounting or taxes. Call in that favor or give that long lost aunt a buzz to see whether they’d be willing to help you out in a pinch.
5. File an Extension
If you just don’t have the time, energy or resources to tackle your taxes before April 17th, good news!The filing an extension is super easy. The important thing to keep in mind is that if you have tax liability – which means you will owe money on your taxes when you file this year – then you will have to pay a penalty and interest based on how late you file when you do eventually file your taxes. However, if you will get a tax refund, then there is no penalty for doing your taxes late. You don’t even have to file an extension. But if you suspect you will owe and need to file an extension, all you have to do is file Form 4868 by the April 17th deadline. The form has instructions for where to mail on paper, as well as how to file it electronically. When you file an extension using this form, you have until Oct. 18, 2018, to file your tax return.
Did You Find this Information on How to File Your Taxes Useful?
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