The IRS is reminding Iowans who are preparing their federal tax returns on this deadline day of April 15th to double-check all of their numbers.
The agency’s spokesman for Iowa, Christopher Miller, says if you’re in a hurry, math errors can add up to big trouble, but he says mistakes are less likely if you file your return electronically.
“We’re running about 90% of people electronically filing their tax return,” Miller says. “More and more people are realizing how fast and easy it is to e-file your taxes. When you choose direct deposit and you e-file, you get your refund in the fastest amount of time possible.”
People who have procrastinated doing the taxing task of taxes may be trying to speed through the process as the deadline approaches, which Miller says can be a bad idea.
“When you’re rushing, you can make mistakes easier,” Miller says. There is about a one-percent chance of making a mistake when e-filing versus a 20-percent chance of error with paper returns.
If you’re not able to make the midnight deadline, all is not lost. “If you’re running out of time and don’t think you’re going to get your tax return done, file for an extension,” Miller says. “That has to be done by the deadline. It’s Form 4868. We’re expecting a lot of people will get that additional six months until October 15th to file their taxes.”
If you file for an extension though, Miller reminds, there is a string attached:
“An extension of time to file your tax return is not an extention of time to pay,” Miller says. “If you owe taxes, you still need to figure out your best estimate of how much you’ll owe and get that into us by the deadline to avoid further interest and penalties.”
More last-minute tax tips are available on the agency’s website, www.irs.gov.