TIME IS UP: Tips for the last-minute tax filers

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

This is it, procrastinators.

If you haven't yet filed your taxes, today is the deadline.

Of the 4 million returns from Georgians, about 2.7 million have been filed electronically, IRS spokesman Mark Green said.

"The most important thing to remember is come April 15 by midnight, file something, whether it's a tax return or an extension," Green said.

Here are some tips for last-minute filers:

* File electronically. For more people, e-filing is free, fast, safe and accurate. You get confirmation that the IRS has received your return, and you get your refund in about two weeks if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

* If you are filing a paper return, use the preprinted label. It speeds up the processing of your return. If needed, you can use a pen to make changes on the label.

* The Boggs Road Postal Store, located at 1605 Boggs Road in Duluth, is open until midnight if you need to mail your return.

* If you need extra time to file your federal return this year, file the Form 4868 request for an automatic extension through IRS Free File. The extension gives you an additional six months -- until Oct. 15 -- to file the tax return.

* If you are unable to pay the total balance due, you should pay as much as possible and then contact the IRS about an installment plan. Even if you cannot pay the balance due, it is important to either file a return or request an extension to avoid the failure-to-file penalty. The late filing penalty is 10 times greater than the late payment penalty -- 5 percent per month (up to 25 percent) of the tax due. Paying as much as you can when you file your return will help reduce interest and penalty charges.

* Taxpayers who are unemployed or struggling financially can find information in a new electronic tax center on the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov. This online tax center has several resources including links to information on tax assistance and relief to help struggling taxpayers.

* Virtually all forms and publications can be downloaded from the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov, under the "Forms and Publications" link.