Monday, April 15, 2013

Still waiting to file your taxes? The post office closes at 6 p.m.

Last April 15, I was stopped for speeding on John Adams Parkway, trying to make it to the post office before 6 p.m., the deadline for putting my income tax returns in the mail. I won't make that mistake again, but how I long for the good old days when your envelope to the IRS could have an 11:59 p.m. postmark on it.

My point is, if you've been procrastinating on your taxes, today is the day. Here are some helpful reminders and links I've scrounged up for those of you who are on the spot today:

• People who need more time to finish their tax returns can use the Free File link to electronically request an automatic six-month tax-filing extension on Form 4868, extending the deadline to Oct. 15.
• If you meet certain financial requirements, the IRS may accept less than owed via a negotiated settlement called an "offer in compromise." You can see if you meet the eligibility requirements by filling out this prequalifying worksheet.
• The installment option is available for taxpayers who owe $50,000 or less. The minimum monthly payment for installment agreements is $25. If you owe more than that, you have to contact the IRS and fill out Form 433-F.
• The U.S. Postal Service has a tool that allows tax filers to find a post office that is open after 6 p.m.

And here are some links you procrastinators might find helpful or interesting, assuming 

IRS: Last-Minute Filers: Avoid Common Errors

IRS: Can't File By April 15? Use Free File to Get a Six-Month Extension; E-Pay and Payment Agreement Options Available to People Who Owe Tax

CBS News: Tax deadline: Common questions and tips for last-minute filers

New York Times: Options if You Can't Pay Your Income Taxes

Detroit Free Press: Last-minute tax tips for procrastinators and those who owe the IRS

U.S. News & World Report: 8 Tips to Help You Make the Nearby Tax Deadline and Save Money

Slutzker Center for International Services: Taxes