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Believe it or not, the deadline for filing your income tax in 2013 is just a few days away – Monday, April 15th. It’s easy to go into panic mode when you’re scurrying to get everything done, so here are a few tips to help calm those last-minute jitters:

File Electronically for Free: The IRS says you can e-file through a tax preparer, personal computer and tax preparation software, or the IRS Free File program for individuals with an AGI of $57,000 or less. Filing electronically offers faster refunds, including direct deposit into up to three bank accounts.

Set Up A Payment Plan: You should plan to file by the regular April 15th deadline even if you can’t pay the full amount due. The IRS gives folks who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest the chance to set up a monthly payment agreement for up to six years. You can use this option if you have not received a bill or notice from the IRS.

Ask for More Time to File: If you can’t complete your return by April 15th, visit and request an automatic tax-filing extension using Form 4868. Anyone, regardless of your income, can apply for this automatic six-month extension. Here are more Last Minute Tax Filing Tips from the IRS.

Keep Your Tax Records: After you file, safely consolidate your completed tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, charitable giving receipts, and other paperwork in one big envelope or folder. This way, if the IRS decides to do an audit, you will be ready to go. Depending on your financial situation, you should keep them on file for 3-7 years.

If you’re still having a hard time getting motivated to complete your taxes on time, read this article from Practical Money Matters
on why we need to take the tax deadlines seriously.

by JohnH

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