It's the most wonderful day of the year. Well, not really.

 

 

 

Are you like me and put off doing your taxes? Well, Ive gotten really good at getting them done. That's only after what I learned what it was like to do them late. Take my advice. Play nice with Uncle Sam.

 

1. File Electronically

Gone are the days of mile long lines at the post office. While you will need to make sure your returns are postmarked by today, you most likely can avoid the postage and file online. Besides the convenience of e-file you also will have less chance of a mistake. The IRS reports that the error rate among electronically filed returns is less than 1%, and if you go paper it jumps to 21%.

 

2. Use Tax Software

Not the best at numbers? If you have a relatively easy tax return, or even up to and including small business owners, you may get help from using tax software. Put away the calculator and just fill in the information. But be warned, as my Mom's CPA says, "the programs are only as good as the information you put into them". What he is trying to say is don't cheat on your taxes. There are a bunch of these to choose from, and if you use one that cost you money you can write off that cost on next years return.

 

3. File An Extension

Still not ready? Cant find that last 1099? Well then file an extension. You can get an extra six months to get your return in order if you file an extension. But if you are doing this as a way to put off paying what you owe, think again. Taxes owed will still be due today April 18th.

 

Best of luck! And remember while we all feel the pinch at tax time we also all enjoy the fruits of our collective pot in the form of a military, parks, schools and roads. Well, maybe not roads. At least not here in Michigan.