The IRS has some tips to consider as Tuesday's income tax-filing deadline approaches:
¢ E-file. Filing electronically is the easiest, fastest and most accurate way to prepare and file a tax return, said Michael Devine, an IRS spokesman. Because the filing programs check for errors and required information, they are 99 percent accurate. Taxpayers filing electronically and choosing direct deposit can expect their refunds within 10 days. "There is no need to be in line at the Post Office on April 15," Devine said. "Our advice is to join the more than 599,000 Kansas taxpayers who have already e-filed their 2007 taxes."
¢ Do taxes yourself, for free. More than 860,000 Kansas taxpayers earning $54,000 or less are eligible for free tax preparation and free e-filing through the IRS-sponsored Free File program at www.irs.gov. Choose the Free File icon and then the software product that works best for you.
¢ Don't miss out on the Economic Stimulus Payment. To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of qualifying income and file a 2007 federal tax return. The IRS will take care of the rest. Go to www.irs.gov and click on Rebate Questions? for details.
¢ Need more time? Taxpayers can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file their tax returns by filing Form 4868, Automatic Extension of Time to File. E-filing a request for an extension is convenient, safe and secure. The extension gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file the tax return, but it does not give the taxpayer an extension of time to pay any taxes due. You still owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have not paid at least 90 percent of your total tax by that date.
¢ Claim your 2004 refund. More than 12,700 Kansas workers failed to file an income tax return for 2004 and are missing out on $9.9 million in unclaimed refunds. The law provides most taxpayers with just a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. To collect the money, they must file their 2004 returns with the IRS no later than Tuesday.
¢ Get every credit you're eligible for. Workers with low incomes should review their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which could be as much as $4,716. More than 173,000 Kansas taxpayers received more than $317 million in EITC on their 2006 federal returns.
¢ Don't get scammed. Watch out for scammers who try to steal your identity by using the IRS as a lure. If you receive unsolicited e-mail or telephone calls from anyone purporting to be from the IRS, it's probably a scam. Don't click on any links; don't answer any questions. Forward the e-mails or report the calls to email@example.com. Also, watch out for those who claim to have found the secret formula to escaping taxes. It's not likely. Look on IRS.gov for the "Dirty Dozen" tax scam list, which includes e-mail phishing, tax rebate scams, frivolous arguments and tax preparer fraud.