If you're among the estimated 430,000 Kansas taxpayers who have waited until the last minute to file your federal tax return, the Internal Revenue Service has five pointers for you:
¢ Help is available. Visit IRS.gov, the official IRS Web site, and click on "1040 Central," where you'll find links to online tools, forms and publications for downloading, answers to frequently asked questions, and a free way to electronically file taxes or request an extension.
About 70 percent of taxpayers qualify for free electronic filing. Go to IRS.gov and click on Free File to choose from 20 software companies providing free tax preparation services. Taxpayers also may call the IRS. The IRS's toll-free assistance line, (800) 829-1040, is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer questions.
¢ E-file to reduce last-minute mistakes. Electronic filing is about 20 times more accurate than filing a paper return. So far this year more than 70 percent of Kansas taxpayers (592,000) have filed electronically.
¢ Don't forget the Telephone Excise Tax Refund. Nearly a third of all taxpayers have not asked for a refund of the telephone tax paid for long-distance charges from March 2003 through July 2006.
Standard amounts add $30 to $60 to a refund, but the actual amount of tax paid may be claimed if a taxpayer has the paperwork.
This year tax returns from 153,000 Kansas taxpayers have not requested refunds worth at least $4.5 million.
¢ If you need more time, ask for an extension. The filing deadline is Tuesday, and an extension only gives you another six months to file, not pay taxes due. E-file or mail Form 4868 to the IRS by Tuesday.
Estimate what you might owe and pay that with your extension request to reduce interest and penalties. During 2007, the IRS expects to receive more than 78,000 extension requests from Kansas.
¢ What if you can't pay? The IRS recommends that if your return is completed but you are unable to pay the tax due, file your return on time and pay as much as you can to reduce interest and penalties.
The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due.