If you are one of the nearly 13 million taxpayers who asked for more time to file your federal tax return this year, the extra time is about to expire. If you haven’t yet filed, here are some things that you should know:
- Know the deadline. Oct. 15 is the last day to file for most people who requested an automatic six-month extension.
- Don’t overlook tax benefits in the rush. Make sure to check if you qualify for tax breaks that you might miss if you rush to file. This includes the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Savers Credit. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and other education tax benefits can help you pay for college.
- Use IRS Direct Pay. If you owe taxes the best way to pay them is with IRS Direct Pay. It’s the simple, quick and free way to pay from your checking or savings account. Just click on the ‘Pay Your Tax Bill’ icon on the IRS home page.
- File on time. If you owe taxes, file on time to avoid a late filing penalty. If you owe and can’t pay all of your taxes, pay as much as you can to reduce interest and penalties for late payment. Your tax pro can help you set up a payment plan for the rest.
- Plan ahead. It’s not too late to take a look at your pay stub and do some planning for 2014. If you weren’t expecting to owe for 2013, there’s still time to make changes in 2014.
- More time for the military. Some people have more time to file. This includes members of the military and others serving in a combat zone. If this applies to you, you typically have until at least 180 days after you leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.
- New filing status rules may apply. New rules apply to you if you were legally married in Washington, or another state or foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage. You and your spouse generally must use a married filing status on your 2013 federal tax return. This is true even if you and your spouse now live in a place that does not recognize same-sex marriage.