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IRS De-Stress

You have until April 18, 2023 to file federal income taxes.  If you’ve already crossed this off your list…congratulations! If you haven't, don’t panic.  Here are five suggestions for filing in the final hour. 

1. Get Organized

Save yourself time by gathering all applicable tax documentation beforehand, including receipts and interest statements. Some common forms include:

  • W-2: Wage and Tax Statement  
  • W-4: Employee Withholding Certificate 
  • 1040: US Individual Income Tax Return (1040-SR: U.S. Tax Return for Seniors)  
  • 1099: Miscellaneous Income  
  • 1098: Mortgage Interest Statement (1098-T: Tuition Statement) 

2. File Online 

Opting to file a paper tax return can translate to weeks or even months of delays. Regardless of whether you’re expecting a refund, e-filing is the best option for prompt processing. For those wanting to steer clear of online software fees, the IRS offers free filing which nearly 100 million Americans opted for last year. (Note that some IRS Free File providers do charge a fee for state tax preparation.) 

3. Double-check Deductions 

It’s easy to overlook opportunities for tax deductions, especially if you experienced major life transitions in 2022 such as the purchase of a home or vehicle or the start of a new job. Among the most overlooked tax deductions that can help you pocket more money are contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) and contributions to a traditional IRA. (Roth IRA contributions won’t trim your tax bill but does allow you to max out the limits for retirement saving.) 

4. Avoid Common Errors 

Before filing, make sure you’ve reviewed your personal information such as your social security number, employer identification numbers, calculations, and signature/date to ensure that your return doesn’t have any last-minute mistakes. Minor errors can result in a rejected return and/or a delayed refund.  

5. Consider an Extension  

If making it before midnight on the 18th is a hurdle, you can request an automatic tax-filing extension. Filing this form gives you until October 15th to submit your tax return (note that since October 15th falls on a Sunday in 2023, your technical due date is Monday, the 16th.) There’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re receiving a refund, but if you owe tax, late payment by even one day can result in penalties and interest. 

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.