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  • Writer's pictureBarwick & Associates

5 tips to get you through tax season

Can you say it three times fast?

Looking for ways to avoid the last-minute rush for doing your taxes? No Sweat! We've got you covered with five great tips that'll have you done sooner than you can say "Barwick" three times fast (bet you can't!):

1. Don't Procrastinate.

Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the last minute. We're all bad at it, but it really can cost you! Your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings and will likely increase your risk of making an error.

2. Organize Your Tax Records.

Tax preparation time can be significantly reduced if you develop a system for organizing your records and receipts. Start with the income, deduction or tax credit items that were on last year's return.

3. Have Your Refund Deposited Directly to Your Bank Account.

Another way to speed up your refund and reduce the chance of theft is to have the amount deposited directly to your bank account. Check the tax instructions for details on entering the routing and account numbers on your tax return. Make sure the numbers you enter are correct. Wrong numbers can cause your refund to be misdirected or delayed.

4. Don't Panic if You Can't Pay.

If you can't immediately pay the taxes you owe, consider some stress-reducing alternatives. You can apply for an IRS installment agreement, suggesting your own monthly payment amount and due date, and getting a reduced late payment penalty rate. You also have various options for charging your balance on a credit card, either as part of an electronic return or directly through a processing agent, either by phone or online. Note that if you file your tax return or a request for a filing extension on time, even if you can't pay, you avoid potential late filing penalties.

5. Request an Extension of Time to File — But Pay on Time.

If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file, to October 15. An extension of time to file does not give you an extension of time to pay, however. You can e-file a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File, that is included in most tax preparation software, or send a paper Form 4868 to the IRS to request the extension.

Remember, we're here to help! As trained professionals who genuinely want to see each and every last one of you get the most you can out of your taxes with the least amount of stress as possible!

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