Last-minute tax tips

The tax deadline is 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, so it’s time to stop procastinating and file.

The final week before April 15 is busy for the Internal Revenue Service. It’s then when 25 percent to 30 percent of 2.5 million Minnesotans will file their returns. 

Here are last-minute tax tips from the IRS:

• File electronically. It’s more accurate and the refund comes faster. Eight out of every 10 Minnesotans who filed January through March did so electronically. 

• Direct-deposit your refund. About 80 percent of filers this year have received a refund, with the average being $2,464. You’ll also get your economic stimulus payment faster too — by May 16.


• Remember credits: Earned Income Tax Credits. About a quarter of those who qualify for Earned Income Tax Credits don’t claim this refundable credit for working individuals and families. If you earned less than $39,783 in 2007, you may qualify. Other commonly overlooked credits include the child tax credit, and child and dependent care credit, education credit and the saver’s credit.

• Avoid common errors. Make sure you’ve pulled figures from the correct tax table for your filing status. Double check Social Security numbers and all arithmetic. Make sure you’ve signed and dated the return and attached required forms.

• File an extension if you’re out of time. The IRS expects about 138,100 Minnesotans to request extensions. File that request with Form 4868 by Tuesay, but remember that’s an extension of time to file, but not pay. If you owe, estimate the amount and send it with your extension request to avoid penalties and interest. If you don’t have enough money, file your return and pay what you can to shield yourself from bigger penalties.

• Need advice? Check The IRS’s toll-free phone line at 1-800-TAX-1040 is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, and from 7 a.m. to midnight Tuesday.   


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