Smart Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

With just one week until the tax deadline of April 17, millions of Americans still have not filed their tax return. In fact, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® expects an unusually large surge of last minute filings this season.

To support late filers, Jackson Hewitt announced that locations across the country, including in Walmart stores, will be open later into the evening. This will help hardworking Americans get the tax preparation help they need when and where it’s convenient for them.

To further help those late filers, Jackson Hewitt offers these tips:

  • Gather all necessary tax documents – Make sure you have all your tax documents. A few to look for: W-2s, 1099s, expense records, tuition documents, mortgage interest statements, real estate and property tax receipts, charitable contributions and medical expense receipts. Using a copy of last year’s return may also help when gathering this year’s records. Jackson Hewitt provides an online checklist of items needed for filing a tax return.
  • File electronically – E-file your tax return when you file this year. E-filing is faster, more accurate and provides a confirmation of receipt, so taxpayers know their returns have been received before the deadline. Jackson Hewittoffers free e-filing with paid tax preparation.
  • Don’t overlook any deductions and credits – Tax law changes and life changes may drive new tax benefits. If you got married, changed jobs or had a child in 2017, make sure the name with the Social Security Administration matches the name on identification and income information.
  • Ask about extensions – With an extension, you can postpone your return until October 15, 2018. However, an extension does not give additional time to pay any taxes owed. A professional tax preparer can help assess whether there are taxes due and determine whether filing an extension is needed.

“As the tax deadline approaches, a tax professional can help you claim your maximum refund and avoid leaving money-saving credits or deductions on the table,” said Mark Steber, Chief Tax Officer of Jackson Hewitt. “This year the tax deadline is April 17, but that day will be here soon. We are available late to help clients file their taxes or file an extension before the due date.”

For procrastinators, there are two penalties taxpayers may face if they miss the tax deadline: failure-to-file and failure-to-pay.

  • Failure to file – The penalty for not filing a return or an extension is 5 percent of unpaid taxes each month, not to exceed 25 percent. Filing for an extension with form 4868 grants a filing extension but does not defer payment of taxes that are due.
  • Failure to pay – The IRS can also assess a failure-to-pay penalty if at least 90 percent of the expected taxes due are not paid. This penalty is much less costly; starting at 0.5 percent of unpaid taxes each month, not to exceed 25 percent.

Jackson Hewitt tax professionals can help taxpayers avoid these penalties. They are also trained to inform clients about IRS payment relief options, such as monthly installments or an offer in compromise based on the client’s income.

To learn more, or find an office near you, visit www.JacksonHewitt.com.

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