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Last Minute Tax Filing Tips

Last Minute Tax Filing Tips

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NBC's Chris Clackum reportingApril fifteenth falls on a Saturday this year, so procrastinators have two extra days to file their taxes. That means many people will be spending the holiday weekend crunching numbers.

Experts say careless mistakes can end up costing you money. We have some last minute filing tips.

If you're in a last minute frenzy to finish your tax return, it's easy to overlook things. According to the IRS, roughly 20-percent of all paper returns contain mistakes. So, tip number one, check the simple things first.

Eunice Sullivan / S&P Tax Solutions Ltd.: "Check your math. If you don't, the IRS computer will and you'll get a notice and those aren't fun."

Be sure all the forms are signed, that your social security number is accurate, and all the numbers add up.

The speed, security, and ease of filing electronically is attracting more and more taxpayers. When you file online, there is no need to mail anything to the IRS. Payments and refunds can even be transmitted electronically.

Eunice Sullivan / S&P Tax Solutions Ltd.: "If you're having a refund direct deposited into your bank account, the speed at which it occurs, the IRS says they'll do it in 10-14 business days and they pretty much stick to it."

Even with 2 extra days, not everyone will be able to meet the April 17th deadline. If you fall into that category, file for an extension on-line before the seventeenth. That'll buy you six extra months.

Eunice Sullivan / S&P Tax Solutions Ltd.: "It extends the time to file, it does not extend the time to pay so if you are projecting that you owe, you should submit the payment with it."

The best way to avoid the stress of last minute filing...start organizing now so that it's easier for next year. Keep track of your receipts and expenses during the year. Store them in a box or an envelope, and categorize them. Sullivan also says the best thing to do is see where you stand before the end of the year.

Eunice Sullivan / S&P Tax Solutions Ltd.: "Because then you can take action to turn on and turn off the tax spigot, Do I want to have deductions, should I try and collect more income if I have an ability to."

Bottom line, along with a New Year's resolution, make your tax resolution, Stick to it and save yourself from the headaches of last minute filing next year.

Sullivan also recommends looking at last year's returns as a guide when filling out this year's.

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